Cincinnati: Medvedev stuns Djokovic in semifinal

Published by AAP

Daniil Medvedev will contest his third consecutive final in Cincinnati; Getty Images
The in-form Daniil Medvedev will face David Goffin in the Cincinnati final after stunning world No.1 Novak Djokovic to advance.

 A resilient Daniil Medvedev has stunned world No.1 and defending Cincinnati Masters champion Novak Djokovic to reach his third ATP Tour final in as many weeks.

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.”

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.

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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