December 5, 2019
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Russia’s Medvedev marches into US Open final with straight sets win over Dimitrov Daniil Medvedev became Russia’s first men’s Grand Slam finalist since 2005 as he claimed a straight sets victory over Grigor Dimitrov in their US Open semfinal.

Fifth seed Medvedev, appearing in the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time, continued his knack of winning the big points while arguably playing the less eye-catching tennis as he beat Bulgarian former world number three Dimitrov 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Medvedev – who will face Spanish great Rafael Nadal in the final – continued the remarkable form which saw the 23-year-old claim his first Masters title on the eve of the US Open, and which has now given him a very real chance of a maiden Grand Slam title.

It is also a remarkable effort that has seen Medvedev come through the boos and crowd-trolling of earlier rounds – much of which he played to – as he became the first Russian man to reach a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin won the Australian Open 14 years ago.

Medvedev broke world number 78 Dimitrov in the very first game of the match, opening up a 2-0 lead before the 28-year-old Bulgarian settled himself to break back and put the first set back on serve.

As he has done throughout the tournament, Medvedev struggled with double-faults in an error-strewn set but crucially saved set point to take the first chapter to a tie-break.   

Both players were guilty of more double-faults as the mistakes continue to come, but Medvedev eventually edged the tie-break 7-5, sealed when Dimitrov sent a forehand long.

The Bulgarian will have been left scratching his head having hit more winners, having had more unforced errors, and producing a higher first-serve percentage – but all to no avail as Medvedev stepped up on the big points.

The pair traded double breaks at the start of a topsy-turvy second set, as both continued to appear nervous at Arthur Ashe Stadium.  

The turning point came when Medvedev won an epic game to hold serve and edge 5-4 ahead, breaking Dimitrov in the next game to seal the set and take a two sets to love lead.

For Dimitrov – appearing in a third Grand Slam semfinal after losses at the same stage at Wimbledon in 2014 and Australia in 2017 – it appeared a mountain too high to climb as he had never recovered from two sets down to win in his entire career.

Medvedev ultimately continued his march to the final with a break early in the third set, and while Dimitrov battled to hang on, Medvedev closed out the set to book a spot in Sunday‘s Flushing Meadows men‘s showpiece. 

Conrad Contributor