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Medvedev eliminates Djokovic and will play against Goffin unprecedented final

Medvedev eliminates Djokovic and will play against Goffin unprecedented final

The Russian Daniil Medvedev, ninth seeded, gave the great surprise of the Masters 1,000 tennis tournament in Cincinnati by beating this Saturday 3-6, 6-3 and 6-3 the Serbian Novak Djokovic, first seed and defender of the title of champion, in the semifinals.

The 23-year-old Medvedev, now 2-3 against Djokovic, but both consecutive wins this season and back-to-back, emerged with a major comeback that allowed him to reach his second Masters tournament final for the second time in a week. 1,000 after Montreal played last Sunday against the Spanish Rafael Nadal, who was the champion.

His rival will be the Belgian David Goffin, sixteenth seed, who beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3 and 6-4, and will play his first final in Cincinnati and in a Masters 1,000, without either of them yet having in his possession a title of champion.

With an adverse 3-6, 2-3 and 30-40 partial in favor of Djokovic, Medvedev reacted brilliantly, especially with the second serve, which was the weapon that broke the defense of Djokovic, who began to suffer the effort realized no longer have answers for the balls that his rival put in all parts of the court.

Medvedev, by avoiding the break in the sixth game, was where he found the key to resurgence against a Djokovic, who had not lost a semifinal of a Masters 1,000 tournament after having won the first set since 2013 when he was defeated by Argentine Juan Martín del Potro , in Indian Wells.

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From that moment, the game was all for Medvedev, who in one hour and 43 minutes, achieved victory after preventing Djokovic from establishing the rhythm of the game that could favor his blows from the back of the court.

Djokovic, 32, was looking for answers in order to find his best tennis again, and he did it sporadically with his serve by placing 16 “aces”, the best mark this season for a three-set match, but it saved him from the defeat.

“To be honest, I don’t know how I could do it,” Medvedev declared at the end of the match. “I was really tired in the first set and as Novak (Djokovic) played I thought he would not be able to maintain the same intensity that he imposed. Then, everything changed in a moment in my favor in the second set, where the difference was made. The fans also gave me a lot of energy.

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Medvedev, who became the first Russian tennis player to reach the final in the tournament’s 120-year history, admitted that his second serve was the key to the big win.

“In the first set, Novak (Djokovic) destroyed me, then in the second I told myself that I had to do the things I do normally and everything changed,” Medvedev explained.

The Russian tennis player will have the opportunity to fight for a champion title for the third time in a row after having played the finals of the Citi Open in Washington and lost against Australian Nick Kyrgios and Montreal against Nadal.

The game against Goffin on Sunday will be third, all this season, tied at 1-1 in the two previous meetings.

Medvedev won the first, at the Australian Open, and Goffin took his revenge at Wimbledon with a great match that had to be decided in five sets.

Now the Russian tennis player is also in a good position to get the Nitto ATP Finals ticket to be played in London at the end of the year after already having 43 victories under his belt, leading on the circuit.

He has also achieved 30 victories on hard courts, 10 more than the second classified, the Spanish Roberto Bautista and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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For his part, Djokovic, who played great tennis in the first set, with only three unforced errors, and winning eight of the nine raises he had at the net, lost the moment with the resurgence of Medvedev, who has played 17 games in 19 days, and that’s where his chances of winning ended.

The defeat left Djokovic without reaching the final number 50 of a Masters 1,000, and without being able to join the Swiss Roger Federer who does, or get close to Nadal, who is the leader with 51.

A year ago in Cincinnati, Djokovic completed the cycle of 1,000 Masters titles with his first ever in the last major tournament of the hard court season before the US Open.

“I knew that the game was going to be very tough, that I was a rival who fights all the balls and that’s how it was,” said Djokovic. “He never gave up and when he could get back into the game he did it and also with great tennis for which his triumph was deserved.”

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