Medvedev hails “great achievement” in reaching second slam final

Daniil Medvedev was on top form as he dismissed the challenge of Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets at Melbourne Park

Daniil Medvedev

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev said it was “a great achievement” to reach his second Grand Slam final after he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 at the Australian Open on Friday.

The world No 4 outplayed Tsitsipas in every department and will now take on world No 1 Novak Djokovic on Sunday for his first Grand Slam title.

“It was a great match to win in straight sets, especially with a tough third one,” Medvedev said, having let slip a 3-1 lead and then been two points from losing the set before finishing off in style. “It is a great achievement, second Grand Slam final. Only positives to take from this match.

Medvedev: “The crowd got in my head”

Just as he did at the US Open a couple of years ago, when he reached the US Open final despite being cast as a villain by the Flushing Meadows crowd, Medvedev had to deal with a vociferous support for his opponent as the Greek fans inside the stadium tried to roar Tsitsipas back to victory.

Medvedev admitted he was rattled after letting Tsitsipas back into the third set, his celebration when breaking for 6-5, thanks to a stunning backhand pass, getting the crowd even more riled up.

“Everything happened,” he said. “Crowd got behind him so it helped him to up his game a little bit. I got a little bit tight, not because of the score at all but more because of the crowd because, you know, when you’re used to playing with a crowd, it’s one thing. Nothing bothers you if you’re good mentally, if you’re focused.

“Marseille last year was the last tournament I played with a crowd, where it was full stadium…and (on Friday) they were going behind him more. And the game I lost just before my serves, they were going strong. So when you’re used to it it doesn’t bother you. Here it did get into my head. I’m happy that I managed to change my focus and change the momentum at the end of the third set.”

Hot streak continues

Medvedev has now won 20 straight matches, including 12 in a row against top-10 players, with only the injured Roger Federer escaping his clutches.

“It’s great to know this,” he said. “It’s a pity that Roger is not playing. I would love to have played him. I just would love to play against him. I mean, to play against Roger is always a privilege. Against Novak, Rafa, Roger.

“But it’s great to hear this. I mean, happy about myself, because I remember one moment when I was already playing quite good I actually was struggling with the top 10 guys when I was maybe around top 20 or top 30. It’s great to hear this and I’m really happy about it.

“I’m just happy that I managed to keep my game on top. For the confidence, when you beat everybody, it is just great, because I think people start maybe to be a little bit scared about you. At the same time sometimes there are going to be some that are going to want to beat you even more. It’s a tricky situation, but I’m happy I managed to be on top in all those 20 matches.”

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