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Medvedev says “experience helps” heading into US Open semi-finals

Daniil Medvedev has not been wasting his good draw and he intends to take advantage of it in the semi-finals

When you’re chasing your first Grand Slam title and the tennis universe has decided to give you a favourable draw, you do not waste it. That’s exactly what Daniil Medvedev has been very disciplined about in New York until now.

Facing a qualifier in the quarter-finals? The Russian said, “Thank you very much, I’ll take that offer.”

Medvedev played a bit with fire in the third and the fourth set but, all in all, he looked very much in control against Botic Van de Zandschulp (6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5). The world No 2, who will play Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals, has also been saving energy since the start of the tournament and it might end up being valuable. He also seems extremely calm and focused, which is never good news for his rivals. There have been very few shows of temper from Medvedev — surely also because as yet he hasn’t really been put under lots of pressure.

“It was a tough match,” he reflected. “The first two sets were kind of under control. He was missing some balls, some important points. So it was feeling easy, I should say. Then third and fourth sets were really tough. He played top-level, served really big. He was breaking the rhythm a little bit, so it was a really tough set. I’m really happy that in the fourth set I managed to, first of all, hold my serve really easily and managed to break him at the end where I had few opportunities to do it before also. Really a good tactical match and I liked it.”

Daniil Medvedev celebrates another victory at Flushing Meadows

“I always said that experience helps me”

What Medvedev also likes is that he’ll be the player with the most experience at this level in his semi-final. He has played two Grand Slam finals already; he knows the drill. His opponent will not. But even if he sees it as an advantage, he’s not 100 percent confident that it’ll be a decisive one.

“I always said that experience helps me,” the Russian noted. “For them, it’s going to be a first semi-final of a slam. But experience is not everything, because, for example, when I was in my first semi-final of a slam, I won it. That doesn’t mean if you’re there for the first time you’re gonna lose it. But I like that I have this experience. I know how it is. I’m not gonna be tight. I know that. After, it’s a question about tennis. If I play well, it’s going to be difficult for my opponent. That’s the most important thing I’m gonna try to do.”

“I’m not gonna be tight”

The 25-year-old finds himself suddenly looking like a veteran in this US Open full of 18-year-old wonders.

“I mean, 18 years old,” Medvedev quipped. “When I was 18, I was barely playing futures and trying to pass the first round.”

Yet through those many more years he has at the highest level and especially now in majors, Medvedev has gained a lot of confidence — and especially here where he lost his first Grand Slam final against Rafael Nadal.

“If we talk about the match against Rafa, there is not really a lesson, but just to live this match was special. If I would have lost this match in three straight sets, you never know, who knows? Maybe I thought got a bit lucky being there. Djokovic, Federer actually lost the match before I played them. But by bringing the match that far, I kind of understood, ‘okay, well, I
almost beat Rafa, being two sets down and a break, so, well, I do belong here.'”

Nowadays, there’s no doubt any more that he belongs at the very top of the game. And there’s also very little doubt in New York that he’s looking like a guy more than ready to win his first Grand Slam title.

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