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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday February 19, 2021

 
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev raced past Stefanos Tsitsipas to book his second Grand Slam final appearance on Friday at the Australian Open.

Photo Source: Getty

When you’re hot you’re hot, and that is most certainly the case with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. The No.4 seed executed a textbook breakdown of a formidable opponent on Friday in Melbourne, defusing every element of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ aggressive game to lock down a 6-4, 6-2 7-5 victory and take his place in the Australian Open final.

"It's a great achievement, second Grand Slam final," Medvedev said, while admitting that he felt he played better in his quarterfinal against Daniel Medvedev. "Only positives to take from this match."

Tennis Express

Medvedev, who will face Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final in Melbourne, stretches his winning streak to 20 matches with the win. Even more remarkable, his purple patch, which dates back to last November’s Paris Masters, includes 12 consecutive wins over Top 10 players.

Medvedev began his seventh career meeting with Tsitsipas by directing a steady flow of the rallies into Tsitsipas’ backhand corner, and the strategy paid dividends early and often as the No.5-seeded Greek could not find his range off of that wing.

Perhaps he was tired from his five-set victory over Rafael Nadal two days ago, or was it nerves taking hold? Whatever the case, Medvedev, tactically aware, zeroed in on what he saw and made life difficult for the Greek.

"I think for sure he was tired," said Medvedev. "Todays match I saw that as soon as I was moving him around the court I saw that he was not easy for him, so as soon as I saw that in the first set that became my strategy."

Tired or not, Tsitsipas came away with the Russian's game and offered some high praise after the match.

"Let me tell you that he's a player who has unlocked pretty much everything in the game. It's like he's reading the game really well," the Greek said. "He has this amazing serve which I would describe close to John Isner's serve. And then he has amazing baseline which makes it extremely difficult. So even if you return the serve, you don't guarantee that you're going to win the point. You have to really work hard for it."

Tsitsipas’ struggles seemed to bleed into his decision making, as he seemed to drop into the background as a zoning Medvedev peppered him with passing shots and booming serves.

The first set was the close, with Medvedev taking it on the strength of a break, but by early in the second the court was tilted heavily in the Russian’s favor. The 25-year-old rolled through the set, producing six aces and winning 16 of 19 points on serve.

The third set looked to be on a similar course after Medvedev went up by an early break, but suddenly Tsitsipas, urged by the large contingent of Greek support in the crowd, upped his energy and broke back for 3-3.

After a service hold, Tsitsipas even threatened to break for 5-3, but Medvedev dug down to find his best serving, delivering back-to-back aces from 3-4, 30-40 to hold for 4-4.

A few games later Medvedev produced an epic backhand pass to break for 6-5 and he held to 15 to close out his triumph.

Medvedev will face 17-time Slam champion Djokovic for the title on Sunday. The Russian has a 3-4 lifetime record against the Serb.


 

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