Djokovic reaches final after Medvedev retires (VIDEO)
Novak Djokovic booked his place in the Astana Open final on Saturday after former US Open final rival Daniil Medvedev retired from their semifinal due to a leg injury.
Djokovic clinched a tie-break in the second set to level the match 4-6, 7-6 (6), but Medvedev wasn’t able to continue the showdown, which the ATP later said was shaping up to be one of the best matches of the year on the men’s tour.
“At 1-0 in the tie-break in the second set, I felt a click in my left leg when I hit from the left in an open stance,” Medvedev explained to Championat in Russia.
“At first I thought it might be a cramp. After the point, I realized that it wasn’t. I immediately felt that I had pulled a muscle. My head is spinning,” Medvedev added.
“I really hope that his injury is nothing too serious,” Djokovic said.
“I know Daniil, he’s a great guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a big competitor. He wouldn’t retire [from] a match if he didn’t feel that he [could] continue or [if it wouldn't] worsen his injury. He told me that he pulled an adductor muscle in his leg.”
“It was such a close match, particularly in the second set. I would probably say he was a better player on the court in both sets,” Djokovic admitted.
“I was fighting and trying to find a way. I found a way to win the second, but I’m just sad for the tournament and for these people who were enjoying the battle, and for Daniil that it had to end this way.”
The eleventh meeting between Djokovic and Medvedev was their first in 2022, with Djokovic leading their series 6-4.
Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday as he seeks to become a back-to-back champion at the tournament and win his 90th tour-level crown after his victory in Tel Aviv last weekend.
Tsitsipas, who beat Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal, trails Djokovic 7-2 in their previous meetings.