Tennis

Medvedev batters Tsitsipas to reach Australian Open final against Djokovic

Daniil Medvedev crushed fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals at the Australian Open to reach his second final at a Grand Slam tournament.
Daniil Medvedev crushed fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals at the Australian Open to reach his second final at a Grand Slam tournament. Paul CROCK AFP
3 min

Daniil Medvedev overpowered Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Friday to reach the Australian Open final.

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The 25-year-old Russian won 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in just over two hours to set up a Sunday showdown against the top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Tsitsipas went into the clash on Rod Laver Arena on the back of a four hour quarter-final epic in which he came from two sets down to beat the second seed Rafael Nadal.

But he failed to carry on the momentum

Medvedev claimed his serve in the fifth game of the first set and held on to win the opener after 39 minutes.

Breaks in the third and seventh games helped him to cruise through the second in 36 minutes.

Cruise

And when he consolidated his break of serve to lead 3-1 in the third set, the end seemed nigh for Tsitsipas who had to fight off two points which would have given Medvedev a 4-1 lead.

After squandering the chances for the cushion, Medvedev fell apart. Tsitsipas retrieved the break to level at 3-3 and nudged 4-3 ahead.

The 22-year-old Greek also had a point to go 5-3 up but two aces swung the game back Medvedev's way and he held on to even affairs up at 4-4.

Recovery

"Knowing what he did against Rafa, I got scared," Medvedev admitted. "It was at about the same point in the third set that he started to turn things around against Nadal. So I did the only thing I could which was try to hit big serves and keep the ball in play."

The internal demons subsided sufficiently for him to make the break when Tsitsipas was serving for a 6-5 lead.

Two poor volleys and a Medvedev forehand winner brought up three break points.

Tsitsipas saved one at the net but a sumptuous backhand passing shot down the line sealed the break and offered the chance to serve for a place in his second final at a Grand Slam tournament.

"My first final at the US Open was against Nadal, one of the greats. And my second final is against Novak, another of the greats," Medvedev deadpanned.

"No pressure for me ... Novak has never lost in the final in Australia and he is trying to get closer to the records of Rafa and Roger [Federer]. He has more experience than me ... I have nothing to lose."

 

 

 

 

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