Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev: Cincinnati Open - Semifinal Preview and Prediction
The World Number one and the defending champion, Novak Djokovic, carried forward his march for another Cincinnati Open title after defeating the Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-6, 6-1. The path, however, is still long for Djokovic as he will face a big barrier Daniil Medvedev in tonight's semi-final.
Medvedev has been playing like a machine as he has clinched 42 matches in the season. We have seen the consistent version of the Russian reaching back to back finals in the Washington Open - ATP 500 and the Rogers Cup - ATP 1000, unfortunately, finishing runner-up on both occasions. He has not let his guard down playing incredible tennis, defeating all his opponents in straight sets in this tournament so far.
Medvedev will have a great memories of this season etched in his mind forever. Afterall he has defeated big guns of tennis, such as, Murray, Raonic, Tsonga, Monfils, Tsitsipas, Djokovic, Nishikori, Verdasco, Cilic, Thiem and Khachanov. He is one of the favourites to win the US Open, which will begin in 10 days.
The interesting aspect of Medvedev's game is that he does not have powerful weapons like a big serve and smart netplay but his approach always engages the opponent in long and grinding rallies.
Djokovic leads the head to head record 3-1 against Medvedev, However, the Russian got better of his opponent in their last meeting in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals. The Serbian will be wary of Medvedev's tricks as he cannot afford any early let-ups. If Djokovic loses the first set, it will be an uphill task to win the match as he has to play catch-up in a high-pressure situation.
Both the players will be pumped up for this match as they have won all their matches so far in the straight sets. Medvedev will have more confidence as he is in tremendous form and this is a great chance for him to defeat Djokovic. The Russian gave a sound thrashing to his high-flying countrymen, Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals by winning the match 6-2, 6-3.
Rublev was coming off a fabulous win against the GOAT, Roger Federer winning 6-3, 6-4 in just 62 minutes. This was the quickest defeat for the Swiss player in 16 years. The last time federer lost a match in less time was back in the 2003 Sydney Open against Franco Squillari.
Djokovic overcame Pouille again in straight sets. He had destroyed Pouille 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals of the Australian Open this year. The Frenchman put up a great show this time as he challenged Djokovic in the first set where both players threw everything at each other.
The Serbian, however, grabbed the first set 7-6(2) and there was no stopping him after that as he went on to win the second set 6-1 and clinched the match.
Djokovic will be looking to settle scores this time around but he has to acknowledge the fact that Medvedev has improved by leaps and bounds and can test him to the brink. The Russian, on the other hand, will try to breach the defense of the Serbian.
No matter, what is the outcome of this match. The tennis fans are surely going to enjoy the heated battle between Medvedev's two handed backhand and Djokovic's accurate returns in a crucial fixture, tonight.
A statistical comparison of Djokovic and Medvedev in this tournament ahead of the final
Prediction - Novak Djokovic to win in three sets