Daniil Medvedev has been the most consistent player at the US Open in the last three seasons, losing the final to Rafael Nadal in 2019 and in the semis to Dominic Thiem a year ago. Last Sunday, the Russian went all the way in New York to lift the first Major trophy, beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to earn the tennis glory and join immortals at 25.
Speaking about his US Open results, Medvedev admitted that he was not ready for Dominic Thiem last year, unable to match the rival's pace or solve his game. Thiem beat Medvedev 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and 55 minutes to reach his fourth Major final as the sixth active player who achieved that.
Medvedev had not lost a set before this clash, beating all rivals in straight sets and failing to secure at least one against the Austrian despite serving for sets two and three, making his loss even tougher. Thiem delivered more efficient numbers behind the second serve, defending six out of eight break chances and stealing Medvedev's serve four times, twice in the opener.
Daniil had more winners thanks to the final set, but it was not enough to keep him safe, spraying too many errors as he could not figure out how to penetrate the rival and find an open court. Trailing 5-3 in both sets, the Austrian kept his composure to erase the deficit and reach tie breaks, claiming them both to take another big step towards the title.
The Russian hit 13 unforced errors in the opener, feeling uncomfortable in the baseline rallies against the mighty opponent who produced four commanding service games. Medvedev got broken after a controversy with the umpire in the sixth game and sent a forehand wide in game eight to suffer another break and seal his fate in the opener.
The numbers were not much better for the Russian in set number two, but he did enough to break at 15 in the first game and settle into a smooth rhythm, serving for the set at 5-4.
Daniil Medvedev lost a tight US Open semi-final to Dominic Thiem a year ago.
Thiem broke back when Medvedev netted a forehand to level the score at 5-5 and fended off no less than five break chances in game 11 to avoid another setback.
The Austrian saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie break with a service winner, earned a mini-break at 7-7 and forced Daniil's error to grab the set and open a massive advantage. From 13 winners in the opening two sets combined, Medvedev collected 16 in the third, having to play with more aggression and change things on the court if he wanted to prolong the clash.
He broke in the second game to open a 5-2 gap, served for the set at 5-3 and squandered a set point with a loose forehand. Thiem broke back and held at 30 in the next one to lock the result at 5-5 and secure more drama. After this comeback, Dominic had the momentum on his side, taking the breaker 7-5 when Daniil netted a forehand to seal the deal and set the title clash against Alexander Zverev.
"I was not entirely ready for Dominic Thiem clash at the last year's US Open. I prepared for it well, but Dominic was on a higher level, and I could not solve his game. I took a lesson from that one and tried to do better at the ATP Finals in November," Daniil Medvedev said.