There will be a first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion crowned on Sunday at the Western & Southern Open.
Eighth-ranked Daniil Medvedev continued his sensational three-week run, ousting defending Cincinnati champion Novak Djokovic, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, in the semifinals to defeat the world No. 1 for the second time in a row. The Russian, who leads the ATP with 43 match wins this year , will square off against No. 16 seed David Goffin for the trophy and shot at making his Top 5 debut. Goffin defeated Richard Gasquet, 6-3, 6-4, in the first semifinal.
"It’s a great feeling, especially this time [because] I beat the No. 1 to be in the final. That means that I deserve to be in this place. I played an unbelievable match and I’m just so happy," Medvedev said in a TV interview afterwards.
Medvedev took the court Saturday for his 15th match in 19 days, following runner-up efforts in Washington, D.C. and Montreal—his first Masters 1000 title match appearance. On game point in the sixth game, the Russian overhit a cross-court backhand, a miscue that would ultimately cost him the first set. Djokovic consolidated the break with a love hold for 5-2 and closed out the set with nine winners to just three unforced errors.
The night before, Djokovic had his right elbow examined towards the end of his quarterfinal victory over Lucas Pouille, but it was Medvedev who called for the trainer Saturday. The 23-year-old had his right bicep worked on, stating the pain was everywhere throughout his arm. After finding little success in Djokovic’s service games, Medvedev broke with a backhand down-the-line return winner to move ahead 5-3 and soon leveled the encounter.
"After the first set, I was so tired and exhausted. Novak was making me run all over the court. I knew I had to serve good to win some points. That’s what gave me some extra energy in the second set to try and push him," said Medvedev.
In the third set, Medvedev maintained his momentum in securing an early break advantage. He kept bringing the heat on his second serve and ultimately broke Djokovic to close out the comeback, improving to 2-3 against Serbian by adding to April’s Monte Carlo win. Djokovic took their fourth-round matchup at the Australian Open on his way to his seventh Melbourne title and was bidding for his fourth trophy of 2019.
Medevdev and Goffin have met twice this season, splitting a pair of major meetings. Medvedev prevailed in the third round of the Australian Open, while the Belgian rallied to win in five sets at Wimbledon on his way to the quarterfinals.