Daniil Medvedev extended his winning streak to 20 matches on Friday, as he advanced to the Australian Open final for the first time with a dominant 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Medvedev completed a memorable victory on Rod Laver Arena in two hours and nine minutes. The World No. 4 landed 17 aces and won 88 per cent of first-serve points (49/56) en route to victory.
Across his 20-match winning streak, Medvedev has defeated 12 Top 10 players. The Russian’s most recent loss against a Top 10 opponent came at last year’s US Open, when he fell to eventual champion Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals.
With his sixth win in seven ATP Head2Head clashes against Tsitsipas, Medvedev joins 2005 champion Marat Safin and 1999 titlist Yevgeny Kafelnikov as only the third Russian man to reach multiple Grand Slam finals.
Russian Men In Grand Slam Finals (All-Time)
|Rank||Player||Grand Slam Final Appearances|
Medvedev has earned five straight-sets wins en route to the championship match. The 25-year-old, who battled past Filip Krajinovic in five sets in the third round, will meet eight-time champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.
Medvedev found success throughout the match by focusing his attack on Tsitsipas’ backhand corner. The Russian proved the more consistent player in cross-court backhand rallies and he redirected the stroke up the line to increase his winner count.
Tsitsipas attempted to break the pattern of extended backhand rallies by rushing the net, but Medvedev regularly landed passing shot winners to frustrate his opponent’s efforts. Medvedev was pushed to deuce just once in his opening 11 service games, but Tsitsipas defended well and eventually extracted errors from Medvedev’s racquet to reach 3-3 in the third set. Tsitsipas began to impose himself in rallies and he received vocal support from the crowd, which featured numerous Greek fans.
Medvedev escaped danger on his serve at 4-5, 0/30, and struck three pinpoint backhands to halt Tsitsipas’ momentum and serve for the match. The nine-time ATP Tour titlist moved to the net and forced Tsitsipas into a backhand error to convert his first match point and reach his second Grand Slam final (0-1).
Tsitsipas was aiming to reach his maiden Grand Slam final. The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion claimed two five-set victories en route to his third semi-final at a major championship, which included a comeback victory from two sets down against Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.
Medvedev will attempt to become the first player to defeat Djokovic in an Australian Open final (8-0) on Sunday. The 25-year-old owns a 3-4 ATP Head2Head record against the World No. 1, which includes a 6-3, 6-3 victory in their most recent encounter at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals.