NEW YORK — World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev continued his march through the U.S. Open draw Friday with a fairly routine 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 victory over No. 12 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, advancing to his third career Grand Slam final.
“The more you lose something, the more you want to win it, the more you want to gain it and take it,” Medvedev said. “I lost two finals. I want to win the third one. That’s tennis, we have two players, only one going to win. You never know what’s going to happen, but I’m going to try more than I did the first two times.”
Medvedev faced trouble in this match only once, when he fell behind by a break in the second set and Auger-Aliassime was serving at 40-15 to even the match. But Medvedev, as he often does, managed to use his movement and defensive skills to claw back into that game and retrieve the break. That turn of fortunes seemed to rattle Auger-Aliassime, who got broken again in his next service game and was never a threat thereafter.
“I had to play my best level and even better if I wanted to get a chance to win today,” Auger-Aliassime said. “I didn’t do it long enough. Against a player like that, you don’t really have room for mistakes, room for losing your focus, which I did at the end of the second. He took advantage of it and I didn’t get another chance after that.”
Medvedev, the 25-year old Russian who has become the best hardcourt player in the world outside of the Grand Slams, will now try to add his first major to the collection. In 2019, he lost the U.S. Open final to Rafael Nadal in a 4-hour, 49-minute epic. He took his second shot earlier this year at the Australian Open, where he struggled to get his teeth into the match against Novak Djokovic and lost 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Medvedev could very well get another shot at Djokovic, whom he’s beaten three times in regular ATP Tour events, in the final here on Sunday. Djokovic, trying to complete the calendar year Grand Slam, faces No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev on Friday night
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“I think, yeah, if it’s going to be (Djokovic), it’s going to be more interesting in terms of tactic what I’m going to prepare,” Medvedev said. “I feel like I didn’t leave my heart on the court in Melbourne. Even if of course I wanted to, there was something not turning up this match. That’s what I’m going to try to do on Arthur Ashe with hopefully 100% of fans. No matter the score, I’m just going to turn up the heat, if I can say, and try to do my best, even more than what I did in Melbourne.”
Medvedev enters this final in prime form, having lost just one set during the tournament. Prior to the U.S. Open, he won the Masters 1000 series title in Canada and reached the semifinals in Cincinnati.
Medvedev said he was pleased to get through the draw with a minimum amount of drama, unlike 2019 when he had to overcome some physical issues during the tournament, long matches and a spat with the New York crowd that had initially cast him as something of a wrestling heel before winning them over with his effort in the final.
“It’s never easy, but I’m happy that I managed to save a lot of physical abilities, physical power, and mental power,” Medvedev said. “I’m really happy I managed to make it kind of fast.”
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