The ninth-seeded Russian stepped up his game after dropping the first set to prevail 3-6 6-3 6-3 and secure his second victory over Djokovic in Masters tournaments this year.
“To be honest, I don’t know how I did it,” Medvedev said in a courtside interview with ESPN.
“I was so tired in the first set and playing Novak, I thought I’m not going to be able to keep the intensity.
“Then there was one momentum change in the second and I just started playing unbelievable.”
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) August 18, 2019
Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in April at Monte Carlo, is guaranteed a new career-high ranking heading into the US Open and will play Belgian David Goffin in the Cincinnati final on Sunday.
The 16th-seeded Goffin beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 in Saturday’s earlier semi-final to reach his maiden Masters decider.
“I’ve played the best tennis here in the past few years… It’s a great moment for me,” Goffin said.
A great day for @David__Goffin ????
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) August 17, 2019
Djokovic dominated in the early rally exchanges during the first set and earned the first break for 4-2 as Medvedev folded with a netted backhand.
However, the 23-year-old Medvedev – who lost the Montreal Masters final to Rafael Nadal in Canada last week and the Washington final to Nick Kyrgios earlier this month – pounced with a ferocious forehand to break Djokovic for 5-3 in the second set and successfully served it out to set up a decider.
Djokovic seemed rattled by the Russian’s aggressive power game and was broken two more times in the final set.
Meanwhile, Goffin surged to a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line in the first set and overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second by winning five of the next six games in his win over Gasquet.
“It was almost a day off, so I was fresh and physically 100 per cent today to play against Richard,” said Goffin, who had a walkover into the last four when Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from their quarter-final due to food poisoning.
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