US Open 2020: Medvedev powers into semi-finals after winning Russian roulette

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Daniil Medvedev powered into the US Open semi-finals with a straight-sets win over fellow Russian Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.

The 2019 finalist had won their previous two ATP Tour contests and played the key moments better as he claimed a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory.

It was a match of fine margins despite the one-sided scoreline, with Medvedev claiming the only break of serve midway through the second set after having snatched the first from Rublev's grasp.

The 24-year-old began to struggle physically in the closing stages and roared with delight and relief when he closed out the win and set up a semi-final against Dominic Thiem or Alex de Minaur.

There was scarcely a sniff of a break in the opening set as each man found early rhythm from the baseline, even after the action was briefly suspended due to a power outage.

Rublev seized the initiative in the breaker but squandered three set points at 6-3 up to lose both the opener and his cool, the world number 14 smashing his racquet into the court and his bench in anger.

Medvedev went into the contest having never dropped a set in previous meetings with his compatriot, and the match was firmly under his control when he held to love twice in a row before breaking in the sixth game of the second set with an authoritative smash.

Rublev was looking forlornly for a solution against the Medvedev serve and forehand, the third seed closing out another routine service game to move into a 2-0 lead.

A terrific drop shot seemed to give Rublev renewed vigour early in the third and there was a scare for Medvedev at 4-5 when he needed treatment for a shoulder problem and cramp, although a missile of a cross-court backhand in the next game seemed to dispel some of the concerns.

Rublev successfully challenged a second serve at 1-0 in the tie-break, but he was less fortunate when a thumping Medvedev backhand clipped the outside of the line.

Medvedev was by now clearly hampered physically, choosing to serve and volley at 5-4 ahead for the first time in the match only to drop a routine effort in the tramlines.

But he made certain there would be no threat of a fightback, taking his first match point when Rublev sent a backhand long.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 

Medvedev [3] bt Rublev [10] 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Medvedev – 50/37 
Rublev – 22/17 

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Medvedev –16/3 
Rublev – 10/1 

BREAK POINTS WON 

Medvedev – 1/1 
Rublev – 0/0 

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 

Medvedev – 59 
Rublev – 51 

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 

Medvedev – 89/65 
Rublev – 80/61 

TOTAL POINTS 

Medvedev – 106 
Rublev – 90