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Djokovic reaches Astana final after Medvedev retires injured at one set all

The stunned Serb said Medvedev told him he had pulled his adductor muscle

Djokovic and Medvedev Astana © AI / Reuters / panoramic

Serb Novak Djokovic, the No 4 seed, reached the final of the Astana Open when Russian Daniil Medvedev, the second seed, retired at the Daulet National Tennis Center in Nur-Sultan on Saturday afternoon.

Djokovic, ranked No 7, had just levelled the match at 4-6, 7-6 (6) when Medvedev, ranked No 4, put his arm around the Serb’s shoulder and explained that he could not play on.

The 35-year-old Serb will play Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No 3 seed, next.

“He told me he pulled an adductor in his leg,” a stunned Djokovic said in a courtside interview.

“I’m still surprised that he retired this match. He looked completely fine. Maybe last seven, eight points I’d seen him move slightly slower but it’s a shock, honestly. I was ready for a third set.”

Djokovic said he was sure Medvedev would not retire unless there is something wrong.

“I really hope the injury is nothing too serious. Daniil is a great guy, he’s a fighter, a big competitor. I know he wouldn’t retire a match if he didn’t feel he could continue or worsen the injury.”

Djokovic: “He was the better player in both sets”

In a battle of two former world No 1s, Medvedev outplayed Djokovic for much of the match and might have won it, had he not missed a simple volley at 5-5 in the second-set tiebreak.

The Russian saved one set point but mishit a forehand long on the second and Djokovic wrapped up the set, before Medvedev called it a day.

The win extended Djokovic’s run of wins to eight straight after his win last week in Tel Aviv.

“He was probably the better player in both sets,” Djokovic said. “I was just trying to fight and find a way to win. I found a way to win the second set but not the way you want to end the match.

Earlier in the tournament, Djokovic won against Chilean Cristian Garin (6-1, 6-1), Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp (6-3, 6-1) and Russian Karen Khachanov (6-4, 6-3).

Medvedev beat Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas (6-3, 6-1), Finn Emil Ruusuvuori (6-3, 6-2) and Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut (6-1, 6-1) earlier in the tournament.

Nur-Sultan ATP 250, other semi-final result (Daulet National Tennis Center, USD 1.900.000):

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Andrey Rublev (5): 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

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