Novak Djokovic claimed his first Cincinnati Masters crown in 2018, completing all nine Masters 1000 trophies. A year later, Novak reached another semi-final in Cincinnati, although this time he could not fight for another title.
Novak met an in-form Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final and experienced a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 defeat in an hour and 42 minutes. Medvedev played at his best in Washington, Toronto and Cincinnati, reaching three consecutive titles and seeking his first Masters 1000 trophy in Ohio.
The Russian reached his second Masters 1000 final in a row, raising his level after the opening set and leaving the Serb behind. Daniil embraced all-or-nothing shots and earned the advantage on the court, firing 37 winners and 21 unforced errors to overpower Novak.
It was a different dimension of Medvedev's tennis in the second part of the encounter. The Russian changed the course of the scoreboard and went for points instead of hitting a few meters behind the baseline, something that brought him nothing in the opener.
Daniil Medvedev defeated Novak Djokovic in three sets in Cincinnati 2019.
Daniil faced only two break chances. He suffered that break in set number one and looked more energetic and reliable in his games after fending off a crucial break point at 2-2 in set number two.
Novak lost the 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. Both players won 75 points, and Daniil forged the lead after converting all three break chances.
He played mighty impressive tennis in the last 50 minutes to take one big title out of Novak's hands. Medvedev had more service winners, creating the gap in the shortest range up to four strokes and winning the same number of points as Djokovic 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 Medvedev sprayed a forehand error, hoping for more in set number two.
The defending champion was a better player on the court in the first six games, 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 go in front.
The younger player landed a forehand down the line winner in game nine to wrap up the set and introduce a decider. He broke Novak at 15 in game three after the Serb's loose backhand before holding 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 toward his first Masters 1000 crown.
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