Daniil Medvedev has set up a mouth-watering Australian Open final with Novak Djokovic, overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 on Friday night on Rod Laver Arena.
Medvedev was clinical early in the match, barely giving away any free points and dropping just six points on serve in the first set. The Russian dictated play early, whipping 14 winners past Tsitsipas, he was clearly the better player in the opening set.
After an impressive start by Medvedev, the fourth seed lifted his game to another level in the second set, belting another 14 winners past Tsitsipas, but in this set, he reduced his unforced errors from nine in the opening set, to just four in the second. Medvedev was barely missing. Within an hour and 15 minutes, the Russian had a two sets to love lead, and hadn't faced a break point.
The third set was not as straight forward for the man on a 19 match winning streak.
Medvedev broke Tsitsipas early and took a 3-1 lead, but as the crowd sensed the match was on its last legs, the atmosphere inside Rod Laver Arena became electric - in the favour of Tsitsipas. It was clearly the biggest crowd we've seen on Rod Laver Arena in 2021, and it helped the Greek fifth seed. He managed to break back and extend the affair. But not even thousands of people chanting 'STEFANOS TSITSIPAS' could stop Medvedev.
The red hot Russian whipped a backhand winner, which has since been deemed the shot of the tournament past Tsitsipas, claiming a 6-5 lead, and subsequently the match, in two hours and nine minutes.
Despite a jaw dropping performance, Medvedev still didn't believe this was his best match of the tournament:
"With Rublev I think I played better, but was definitely a great match, still. I'm not saying it was a bad match at all. But, anyway, it was, yeah, was a great match to win in straight sets, especially with a tough third one. Is a great achievement, second Grand Slam final. Only positives to take from this match," Medvedev said.
The Russian will now come up against eight time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the final, and he has kept a close eye on the world no.1:
"I have seen a lot of matches from him because he plays in the evening and we are also in lockdown so I was watching the television.
Actually didn't finish I think three of his matches because he was playing too late and I went to sleep. Yeah, for sure, some controversies. Against Fritz, I went to sleep. I actually thought he was gonna lose because we saw he was in pain. He couldn't fake it to lose two sets. He was up. Next matches were for sure not easy. Against Sascha I went to sleep when he was down a break in the fourth. So was some crazy matches. Yesterday he was on top of Aslan. And he said that he felt the best. So, yeah, so I don't expect anything easy in terms of his physical abilities on Sunday," Medvedev said.
Medvedev and Djokovic have met seven times, with Djokovic leading the head to head 4-3, including winning their only meeting at The Australian Open back in 2019.
However, the Russian will come into this match with confidence, having beaten Djokovic convincingly 6-3, 6-3 in their most recent meeting in the World Tour Finals late last year.