The 20-time Major champions Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will skip the season's last Major in New York for the second straight year. Since 2004, Rafa and Roger have won nine US Open crowns, but they could not chase the tenth in the last two weeks, struggling with injuries and skipping the rest of the season.
Speaking about two legends, Daniil Medvedev said he does not care if they are in the draw or not, focusing on his campaign and setting eyes on the trophy. Nadal experienced a foot injury against Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros semi-final, losing after over four hours and playing two matches in Washington before skipping this year's remaining events and focusing on 2022.
Roger Federer played five tournaments this season, struggling with a foot injury since the beginning of 2020 and opting for a third surgery after failing to take the pain away following the Wimbledon quarter-final loss. Unlike Roger and Rafa, there's nothing wrong with Daniil's game at the moment, winning the title in Toronto and reaching the semi-final in Cincinnati and the US Open.
Daniil has been a player to beat so far in New York, dropping one set in the first five encounters en route to his third straight US Open semi-final. Richard Gasquet, Dominik Koepfer, Pablo Andujar, and Daniel Evans stood no chance against the Russian.
His first serious challenge came on Tuesday in the quarter-final versus Botic Van de Zandschulp, and Medvedev passed the test 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 23 minutes. Daniil lost serve twice and earned seven breaks that propelled him into the semis.
Daniil Medvedev spoke about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the US Open.
The Russian grabbed breaks in games one and five to move 4-1 in front and cemented the opening set with the third break at 5-3. Medvedev produced a bagel in the second set to forge a massive lead after 59 minutes before the Dutch started to play better.
Botic lost six points behind the initial shot in the third set and won it 6-4 with a single break. They stayed neck and neck in the opening nine games of the fourth set before Van de Zandschulp fended off a match point with a service winner for 5-5.
Raising his level, Medvedev held at love in game 11 and broke the rival at 15 soon after that to cross the finish line and remain on the title course. "I do not care if Roger or Rafa are here or not; I want to win the tournament.
It's going to be tougher if they were here, and of course, it would have been more challenging if they were 30. I want to do my best, so I do not care if they are here or not," Daniil Medvedev said.