Daniil Medvedev will contest the first Grand Slam final of his career on Sunday after downing Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.
Medvedev has undoubtedly been the player of the American hard court summer and outfoxed Dimitrov in a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-3 win full of lung-busting rallies, slicing and dicing, and relentless probing.
A first Grand Slam title would be a fitting reward for his efforts in the past two months and he has provided a layer of great entertainment in his role as the loveable villain of New York this fortnight.
The fifth seed, who will rise to world No. 4 in the ATP rankings come the end of the tournament, reached three finals on the spin in the buildup to this event and has followed up his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati with a run to a first major final.
Medvedev had never previously been beyond the fourth round of a Slam but his awkward gamestyle has flummoxed every opponent lying in his wake in the Big Apple.
Dimitrov was the latest to be undone by the lanky Russian. The world No. 78 had stunned Roger Federer in the quarter-finals and put in another strong display but found Medvedev far more match tough than the 20-time Grand Slam champion he had beaten in the previous round.
After his own win against Stan Wawrinka, Medvedev gave an insight to his devastatingly successful tactics, which again worked a treat on Dimitrov.
I knew I should not give him any rhythm, he said on Tuesday. In crucial moments maybe it will make him miss. Dimitrov, as Medvedev hoped, did miss in the biggest moments.
The two-day break between his quarter-final and semi-final matches may prove vital to his chances of winning the tournament.
Medvedevs physical struggles have been well documented and he admitted he almost withdrew from his match with Wawrinka due to a quad problem. Now, he only has to survive one more match.
His final opponent could well be one of the all-time greats, with Rafael Nadal the heavy favourite to down Matteo Berrettini and join him, but 23-year-old Medvedev – now the youngest active Grand Slam finalist in the mens game – will be a major threat to whoever is across the net.
Dimitrov can count himself unlucky to have lost the first set. Having clawed his way back from an early break, he had a set point at 6-5 before losing a cagey tiebreak.
While the Bulgarian was the better player in the first, it was Medvedev who hit the shot of the set. A passing sliced forehand winner on the stretch dropped plum on the line.
After appearing to respond well to the early setback with a break at the start of the second, but soon found himself 3-1 behind as Medvedev began to grind him down.
Medvedev showed his sassy side when Dimitrov won a point courtesy of a let cord, wagging his fRead More – Source