World no. 12 Roberto Bautista Agut grabbed his 70th Masters 1000 victory in Cincinnati, dethroning Daniil Medvedev 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 13 minutes. The Spaniard advanced to his third Masters 1000 semi-final and the first since Shanghai 2016, facing world no.
1 Novak Djokovic in the next round. At the beginning of the 2017 season, Roberto defeated Daniil in the Chennai final, waiting for more than three and a half hours to share the court again in New York. The Russian played on a high level in the opener but couldn't bring the encounter home despite having the advantage in sets two and three.
They both won 88 points, staying neck and neck all the time despite some loose service games in the last two sets, struggling to find the rhythm behind the initial shot against a rock-solid returner on the other side. The Spaniard fended off 15 out of 20 break chances, six out of seven in the decider to cross the finish line first, earning five breaks from 11 opportunities on the return.
Medvedev had 27 winners and 32 unforced errors, producing more efficient numbers than his rival (22-43) but wasting his chances in the pivotal moments. They both hit only 12% of service winners, battling from the baseline in almost every point and embracing 100 rallies with more than four strokes!
Medvedev held at love in the first game and grabbed an early break, converting the fourth opportunity to open a 2-0 gap after Bautista Agut's double fault. Daniil fended off two break chances with winners in the third game, forcing Roberto's error in game four to break him at love and forge a 4-0 advantage.
Roberto Bautista Agut prevailed over Daniil Medvedev in Cincinnati.
The Russian closed the opener with a service winner in the seventh game, taking it 6-1 in swift 28 minutes. The second set offered five breaks and a massive chance for Medvedev to seal the deal in straight sets and remain on the title defense course.
Bautista Agut survived a challenging opening game and broke at love in game four for a 3-1 lead. Medvedev pulled the break back straight away, moving 4-3 in front with the second consecutive return game and taking a big step towards the finish line.
Serving in game eight, the Russian wasted a colossal chance to remain ahead, suffering a break and losing the set after another Spaniard's break at 5-4. They traded breaks at the beginning of the final set, and it was Medvedev who had six more opportunities in three different return games, squandering them all and allowing his rival to move in front with a break in game six.
Serving at 4-2, Bautista Agut fended off three break chances, rattling off five straight points and serving for the match in game nine. The Spaniard repelled two break points and sealed the deal on the second match point with a service winner to join Novak Djokovic in the semis.