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Cincinnati Masters 2019: Medvedev stuns Djokovic to book title clash with Goffin

ANALYST
Feature
18 Aug 2019, 09:30 IST

Medvedev stuns defending champion Djokovic to reach first Cincinnati final
Medvedev stuns defending champion Djokovic to reach first Cincinnati final

Continuing his recent strong hardcourt form, Daniil Medvedev upset top seed Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach his first Cincinnati final and a second Masters 1000 final in as many weeks. Medvedev had made a run to the Coupe Rogers final in Montreal the previous week (lost to Nadal).

Djokovic was faster off the blocks and romped to a one-set lead but Medvedev soon settled down into the match, pounding the Serb with blistering groundstrokes. He broke Djokovic's serve for the first time in the match at 4-3 in the second, before confidently serving out the second set to force a decider.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

In the third set, Medvedev gained an early break of the Djokovic serve to take a 2-1 lead, which he never relinquished. There would be another break of the Djokovic serve in what turned out to be the final game of the match as the young Russian sealed a second (consecutive) victory over Djokovic in five matches.

The defeat stalled Djokovic's bid to become the first player to win multiple titles at all nine Masters 1000 tournaments. Medvedev handed the Serb a first Cincinnati semifinal reverse and a first Masters 1000 semifinal loss since 2018 Rome (lost to Nadal).

Goffin exults after reaching his first Masters 1000 final at 2019 Cincinnati
Goffin exults after reaching his first Masters 1000 final at 2019 Cincinnati

In his sixth tournament final of the season, and third in as many weeks, Medvedev would look for his second title of the year, fifth overall, and a maiden Masters 1000 triumph. He will be pitted against another player, David Goffin, looking for his first Masters 1000 title.

Medvedev is the first player to reach the finals at the Coupe Rogers and the Cincinnati Masters in the same season since Djokovic in 2015.

Earlier in the day, Goffin beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets to reach a first Masters 1000 final in his fifth attempt.

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Goffin has split his two meetings with Medvedev. After the young Russian beat Goffin in the third round of the Australian Open this year, the Belgian returned the favour in the third round of Wimbledon to even their head-to-head at one win apiece.

The Goffin-Medvedev final in Cincinnati is the first Masters 1000 title match since Monte Carlo 2019 (where Fabio Fognini beat Dusan Lajovic) to feature two finalists with no Masters 1000 titles between them.

The match-up guarantees a third first-time Masters 1000 titlist of the season, following Dominic Thiem's victory at Indian Wells and Fognini's win at Monte Carlo. It would also produce a 69th different player to win a Masters 1000 final and the 17th active player to do so.


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