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Russia’s Medvedev marches into US Open final with straight sets win over Dimitrov

Russia’s Medvedev marches into US Open final with straight sets win over Dimitrov
Daniil Medvedev became Russia’s first men’s Grand Slam finalist since 2005 as he claimed a straight sets victory over Grigor Dimitrov in their US Open semfinal.

Fifth seed Medvedev, appearing in the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time, continued his knack of winning the big points while arguably playing the less eye-catching tennis as he beat Bulgarian former world number three Dimitrov 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Medvedev – who will face Spanish great Rafael Nadal in the final – continued the remarkable form which saw the 23-year-old claim his first Masters title on the eve of the US Open, and which has now given him a very real chance of a maiden Grand Slam title.

It is also a remarkable effort that has seen Medvedev come through the boos and crowd-trolling of earlier rounds – much of which he played to – as he became the first Russian man to reach a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin won the Australian Open 14 years ago.

Medvedev broke world number 78 Dimitrov in the very first game of the match, opening up a 2-0 lead before the 28-year-old Bulgarian settled himself to break back and put the first set back on serve.

As he has done throughout the tournament, Medvedev struggled with double-faults in an error-strewn set but crucially saved set point to take the first chapter to a tie-break.   

Both players were guilty of more double-faults as the mistakes continue to come, but Medvedev eventually edged the tie-break 7-5, sealed when Dimitrov sent a forehand long.

The Bulgarian will have been left scratching his head having hit more winners, having had more unforced errors, and producing a higher first-serve percentage – but all to no avail as Medvedev stepped up on the big points.

The pair traded double breaks at the start of a topsy-turvy second set, as both continued to appear nervous at Arthur Ashe Stadium.  

The turning point came when Medvedev won an epic game to hold serve and edge 5-4 ahead, breaking Dimitrov in the next game to seal the set and take a two sets to love lead.

For Dimitrov – appearing in a third Grand Slam semfinal after losses at the same stage at Wimbledon in 2014 and Australia in 2017 – it appeared a mountain too high to climb as he had never recovered from two sets down to win in his entire career.

Medvedev ultimately continued his march to the final with a break early in the third set, and while Dimitrov battled to hang on, Medvedev closed out the set to book a spot in Sunday's Flushing Meadows men's showpiece. 

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