Cincinnati Flashback: Daniil Medvedev dethrones Novak Djokovic

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Cincinnati Flashback: Daniil Medvedev dethrones Novak Djokovic

Daniil Medvedev had been a player to beat in the summer of 2019 alongside Rafael Nadal, winning 12 out of 14 matches in three consecutive weeks and reaching finals in Washington, Montreal and Cincinnati. Nick Kyrgios and Nadal defeated the Russian in the first two title matches before advancing into another final in Cincinnati.

Medvedev dethroned Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 42 minutes for his second consecutive Masters 1000 title match. Djokovic controlled the pace in the opening set before Medvedev took charge, going for all-or-nothing shots that gave him the advantage on the court after firing 37 winners and 21 unforced errors.

Medvedev played against only two break chances, suffering a break in set number one and looking more energetic and reliable in his games after fending off a crucial break chance at 2-2 in set number two. Novak lost ground from there, unable to draw mistakes from the inspired rival or extend the rallies to the safe ground above the ninth shot, where he had a clear advantage.

Daniil Medvedev beat Novak Djokovic in three sets in Cincinnati 2019.

Both players won 75 points, and Daniil forged the lead after converting all three break chances, playing mighty impressive tennis in the last 50 minutes or so to take a big title out of Novak's hands.

Medvedev had more service winners to create the gap in the shortest range up to four strokes while taking the same number of points as Novak in the mid-range exchanges from five to eight shots. The Serb controlled the pace in the opening set with well-measured strokes, sailing through his games and delivering a break in game six after an incredible defense that sent him 4-2 up.

Djokovic wrapped up the set with a hold at 15 in game nine when the Russian sprayed a forehand error, hoping for more of the same in set number two. The defending champion was a better player on the court in the first six games of set number two, dropping one point in the first three service games and creating a break chance at 2-2 that could have pushed him closer to the finish line.

Staying calm, Daniil saved it with a service winner and blasted a backhand return winner at 4-3 to move in front before landing a forehand down the line winner in game nine to wrap up the set and bring the decider. He broke Novak at 15 in game three after the Serb's loose backhand and held at 30 with a service winner to confirm the advantage.

Returning at 5-3, Daniil landed a return winner to grab the victory and stay on the course for the first Masters 1000 crown.