US Open. Men. Singles. Semifinal
Daniil Medvedev (Russia, 2) – Felix Auger-Alyassim (Canada, 12) – 6: 4, 7: 5, 6: 2.
A cool day for domestic tennis! Russian Daniil Medvedev came out in brilliant style and reached the second final at the US Open and the third in the Grand Slam. Canadian Felix Auger-Alyassim initially did not look like an insurmountable obstacle for Daniel, and if there was a real struggle between them, it was only in one set. Medvedev won the class and can now safely prepare for a meeting with Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev.
Medvedev inscribed himself in the history of Russian tennis
Medvedev is the first Russian men’s tour player to qualify for the US Open’s main draw for the second time. Daniil is only 25, but he has already caught up in the total number of finals of the Grand Slam tournaments with Evgeny Kafelnikov and is as close as possible to the leader in this indicator among men – Marat Safin.
He had four finals. The leader among all genders is, of course, Maria Sharapova with 10 finals. However, more important, perhaps, will be the leadership in the race for the number of titles at the TBSH. And here Medvedev has nothing to brag about yet. Two previous attempts to take the “Major” ended in failure for him. As if Daniel has a certain psychological barrier in the decisive meetings, which he needs to overcome as soon as possible.
This time in New York, it will be doubly difficult to do this, because in the final Medvedev will, in fact, face the first serious test of the entire tournament. The status of the second racket of the world gives excellent starting positions for the draw, plus there were many sensations during the competition. Who would have thought that the third seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas would take off in the first week from 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. And Botik van de Sandschulpa, who occupied the 117th position in the rating, will almost win his quarter. But every fairy tale has an end. The same Alcaraz clearly jumped much higher than his head, defeating the Greek. And already in the next round, without a fight, he lost to 21-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Alyassim. Daniel, by the way, is offended by talk about declassing youth. He claims that he himself is still young and hungry for victories.
The decisive moment was the episode in the second set.
It is wrong to argue with this, since Medvedev is indeed now at the ideal age for great accomplishments. The body allows you to withstand serious and prolonged loads, while in more than four years in the world tennis elite, Medvedev has decently gained experience that helps him in critical moments. The best example from the last game is the ending of the second set. After a failure in the first game, the Canadian changed seriously, began to act aggressively, attacked a lot, broke the pace and outplayed Daniel in almost all statistical parameters.
After a break in the middle of the set, it seemed that Auger-Alyassim would not yield his own, but Medvedev broke his opponent psychologically. Felix had two attempts to pitch for the set. The first time he made the second mistake out of excitement, in the second Daniel himself confidently outplayed the opponent at the net.
– A strange match, especially the second set, in which, it seems, everyone already thought that the score would become equal, and there it is already unclear where the game will turn, – the Russian said after the match. – I managed to win back the set point, he missed with a blow of the rally, I took a good point, and the course of the game completely turned around.
An inexperienced tennis player could no longer cope from such a blow. The Canadian was overwhelmed with emotions and the number of unforced errors increased dramatically. Medvedev, in turn, caught his rhythm and began to squeeze the driven beast. Daniel admits that he showed definitely not his best tennis in the semifinals, but that was not necessary today. He demonstrated exactly this kind of game and spent exactly as much energy as was needed to win.
He will desperately need emotions and strength on Sunday. And it doesn’t matter with whom exactly the game will be – the newly made Olympic champion Alexander Zverev, or with the first racket of the world Novak Djokovic. Both are in super form. For the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpishchev, a Serb is preferable. In a conversation with SE, the functionary stressed that the sign of such a match would be much more prestigious, and the possible success would be more significant.
– Novak is trying to collect the calendar “Grand Slam”. If Medvedev plays with Djokovic and beats him, it will be fantastic, – added Tarpishchev.
Medvedev stayed for the second semi-final
An important point is that on the way to the final, Daniel did not meet with serious resistance, having lost only one set in six matches. But does he need to think about it and even more worry? His task was to concentrate on himself and his game, which the Russian finally did brilliantly. He stopped being distracted by external stimuli in the form of annoying journalists asking about doping or negative news from the stands. He stopped counting how many times in his career his opponent got into the decisive stages of the Grand Slam tournaments, indignant at why in the quarterfinals of the Games in Tokyo the underdog deprives him of his dreams. He stopped responding to provocations and learned to use negative energy to his advantage. Plus I saved my energy. When to win, if not now, because Medvedev really has no equal yet on the courts of the US National Tennis Center.
Last time, the US Open final was crazy. If there is the same match on Sunday, I hope that this time I will win.
He was glad that he played before his rivals and noted that it does not matter to him who wins. Daniel stayed at the stadium after his match to watch Djokovic and Zverev play live. Enjoy great tennis. He will also have time for tactical analysis, but later. Right now, he wanted to rest a little in a box with the people closest to him. There are always four people sitting there.
– I know that I want it so that only the closest ones sit in my box. And to others – also close ones – I give very good tickets. But I want the box to be attended only by those with whom I spend the whole year, with whom I work, – explains the first racket of Russia.
The support of family members is an important component of success and it will also play its role in the final. But no matter how it ends, we can already say that Medvedev held an outstanding tournament. And he definitely rehabilitated himself after the Tokyo fiasco.