How Novak Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in their previous Melbourne clash?



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How Novak Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in their previous Melbourne clash?

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are the last men standing at Melbourne Park, setting Sunday's Australian Open title clash. Novak has won four of their seven meetings, with the young Russian taking three of the previous four, beating Djokovic in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati in 2019 and the last year's ATP Finals.

Medvedev survived a tough challenge against Filip Krajinovic and defeated all other rivals in straight sets to advance into the second Major final after the US Open 2019. On the other hand, Novak had to dig deep against Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev to pass all the obstacles and reach the semis, where he ousted Aslan Karatsev to secure the ninth Australian Open final berth.

In their only match at Melbourne Park, Novak defeated Daniil 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes to advance into the tenth Australian Open quarter-final. Novak played well after losing the second set to bring the triumph home and avoid spending more time on the court ahead of the remaining encounters.

Daniil fired 18 aces, although he should have produced more damage with his initial shot, playing against 18 break chances and suffering seven breaks to stay behind. Novak made the difference with the second serve and saved seven out of nine break points to limit the damage and mount the pressure on the other side of the net.

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev played once in Melbourne in 2019.

Djokovic had more winners and forced more mistakes from Daniil, overpowering his opponent in the mid-range exchanges to seal the deal in four sets and advance into the next round.

Following four good holds at the start of the match, Novak saved a break point with a volley winner to avoid the setback and stole Daniil's serve in the next game with a deep return that the Russian failed to control to open a 4-2 gap.

Serving for the set at 5-3, Djokovic netted a backhand to drop serve and keep the opponent in contention before winning four points in a row on the return in game ten to take the set 6-4 after a backhand winner. Daniil fended off five break points in the second set's second game before netting a forehand in game four to fall 3-1 down.

The Russian pulled the break back in game seven after a brilliant point and a backhand down the line winner that gave him momentum. They reached the tie break after five good holds, and Medvedev won it 7-5 following an extended rally in the 12th point.

Raising his level, Djokovic earned a double break in the third set and closed it with a forehand winner at 5-2 to gain a boost ahead of set number four. Forging an early advantage, Novak saved a break point in game six and moved over the top with another break in game nine.