2019 Cincinnati Open semifinal preview: Djokovic seeks revenge against Medvedev; Goffin, Gasquet eye maiden Cincinnati final berth
The 2019 Cincinnati Open is down to the last 4 stage. Top seed Novak Djokovic moved to within two wins of a successful title defence after the world. no. 1 Serb saw off Frenchman Lucas Pouille in straight sets in the quarterfinals to complete the Cincinnati semifinal line-up.
Earlier in the day, Frenchman Richard Gasquet prevailed over Spanish veteran Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets to move into his first Cincinnati semifinal, first Masters 1000 semifinal in six years (2013 Miami: lost to Andy Murray) and seventh overall.
David Goffin returned to the Cincinnati semis for the second consecutive year (2018: lost to Roger Federer) without even taking the court as his quarterfinal opponent Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from their last eight match owing to illness.
Russian Daniil Medvedev continued his fine recent hard court form by beating Roger Federer's conqueror Andrey Rublev in straight sets to move into his first Cincinnati semifinal, where he'll clash with the top-seeded Djokovic.
Here's a preview of the 2019 Cincinnati Open semifinals:
Semifinal #1: (1) Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev
Defending champion Novak Djokovic beat Lucas Pouille in straight sets to reach a 65th Masters 1000 semifinal (behind only Rafael Nadal's 72 and Roger Federer's 66) and his seventh in Cincinnati.
The Serb next faces red hot Russian Daniil Medvedev who is into his third Masters 1000 semifinal of the season after beating compatriot Andrey Rublev in an all-Russian quarterfinal.
Djokovic has a perfect record in Cincinnati semifinals and has won 3 of his 4 matches against Medvedev. However, the young Russian won the pair's last meeting on tour in the 2019 Monte Carlo quarterfinals.
Medvedev will be looking to continue his fine hardcourt form (12 wins in his last 14 matches) by thwarting his more illustrious Serbian rival and become the first player in 4 years (since Djokovic) to reach the Coupe Rogers and Cincinnati title matches in the same season.
The top-seeded Serb's last defeat in a Masters 1000 semifinal was at 2018 Rome (lost to Nadal) and he has since won his last five Masters 1000 last-four clashes.
Victory over Medvedev would make Djokovic only the third player to reach 50 Masters 1000 finals - the others being Federer and Nadal. It would also put him just one win away from becoming the only player to triumph multiple times at all 9 Masters 1000 tournaments on the calendar.
Semifinal #2: David Goffin vs Richard Gasquet
Richard Gasquet, on the comeback trail from injury, beat gritty Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in a three-set clash to move into his first semifinal in Cincinnati and a first Masters 1000 semifinal in six years (2013 Miami: lost to Murray).
The Frenchman next faces Belgian David Goffin who reached back to back Cincinnati semifinals (2018: lost to Federer) after his quarterfinal opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the tournament owing to illness.
Gasquet and Goffin have split their only two meetings on tour (2018 Montpellier SF won by Gasquet, 2017 Tokyo QF won by Goffin).
Gasquet will be looking to reach his first Masters 1000 final in seven years and fourth overall following a defeat to Djokovic in the 2012 Coupe Rogers title match.
Goffin, on the other hand, is eyeing a first-ever Masters 1000 finals berth in five attempts.