2021 in Review: Daniil Medvedev sinks Stefanos Tsitsipas to set Novak Djokovic clash
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2561
World no. 4 Daniil Medvedev reached his second Major final at the Australian Open after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and nine minutes. The Russian got broken once and produced five breaks to control the result, losing ground a bit in set number three but bringing the victory home before the tie break to set Novak Djokovic clash.
Daniil blasted 46 winners and 21 unforced errors, dominating with his first serve and having the upper hand in the shortest and most extended exchanges. Medvedev made a convincing start, losing six points behind the initial shot in the opening set and never facing troubles.
The Russian had 14 winners and nine unforced errors, kept the points on his racquet and exploited the rival's backhand in the most extended exchanges to win the set with a single break. Nothing could separate them in the opening four games before Medvedev forced the opponent's error with a deep and precise hitting that sent him 3-2 ahead.
The Russian held with an ace in game six to confirm the advantage and went 5-3 in front with a forehand winner after 28 minutes. Tsitsipas brought the ninth game home after deuce to prolong the set before Medvedev fired two booming serves at deuce for 6-4 and a massive boost a few minutes later.
Raising his already solid level, Daniil dropped three points behind the initial shot in set number two and kept the pressure on the other side, waiting for his chances patiently. The Greek wasted three game points at 1-1 and got broken when the Russian landed a perfect forehand down the line winner for a 2-1 advantage.
Medvedev cemented the break with a hold at love and moved 4-2 up with another powerful attack.
Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic reached the Australian Open title battle.
Losing ground completely in those moments, Stefanos lost serve at love in game seven following Daniil's forehand return winner.
He allowed the Russian to seal the set with an ace in game eight and move closer to the finish line after only 75 minutes. Medvedev looked better and better on the court and grabbed a break in the third set's opening game before holding at love with a service winner for another massive step towards the finish line.
Daniil landed a forehand winner in the fourth game to forge a 3-1 advantage and created two more break opportunities in game five that could have sealed the deal for him. Staying calm, Tsitsipas repelled those with brave hitting and held to reduce the deficit and gain energy from the crowd.
Suddenly, Stefanos pulled the break back in the next game to level the score at 3-3 and announce his comeback. In game eight, the Russian saved a break and held with a service winner for a crucial hold. From 30-0 down, Daniil grabbed four quick points behind the initial shot in game ten to lock the result at 5-5 and send the pressure to the other side.
Returning at 5-5, Medvedev fired a brilliant backhand down the line winner to earn a break at 15 and held at 15 a few minutes later to power his way into the second Major final, facing Novak Djokovic in the trophy battle.