The Washington Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev is yet to drop a set at the Rogers Cup this week, as he stormed his way into the semi-finals at Montreal following an impressive 6-3, 6-1 over Austrian Dominic Thiem in less than an hour.
In the semi-finals, Medvedev faces another Russian, Karen Khachanov, in what is expected to be a riveting all-Russian contest.
Khachanov, who succumbed to a first-round exit at Washington, D.C last week, has been sensational thus far at Montreal and has overcome dangerous opponents like Stan Wawrinka, Felix Auger Aliassime, and Alexander Zverev to reach the last four of any tournament for the first time since his win at Paris Masters in 2018.
In the head-to-head count, the two Russians have faced each other twice so far. While Khachanov won over Medvedev at Kremlin Cup 6-1, 6-7(5-7), 6-3 at Moscow in 2018, the latter won over the former in their meeting at the Next Gen ATP finals at Italy in 2017.
Medvedev and Khachanov, the two young Russian stars are undergoing contrasting fortunes on the tour so far this year. Having won a title at Sofia Open and being a runner-up at Washington, Barcelona, and Brisbane, Medvedev is enjoying a coming of age year in 2019 and would look forward to continue his purple patch as he prepares himself to meet his compatriot Khachanov in the semis.
On the contrary, Khachanov, following his victory over Novak Djokovic in the finals at Paris Masters in 2018, had an extended lean phase coming into the Rogers Cup. However, the 23-year-old Russian appears to be hungry and motivated at Montreal to overcome his poor form, and has been nothing short of remarkable en route his semi-final appearance at the Canadian Masters this year.
While Medvedev has been in top form this year so far, he has struggled to overpower his opponents in the closing stages of the tournament and his most recent debacle in the finals of the Washington Open last week at the hands of Nick Kyrgios would still be fresh in his mind.
As the Rogers Cup enters its business end, Medvedev would look forward to converting his opportunities into glorious victories and just as he breezed past the No.2 seed Thiem in the quarter-finals, Daniil would hope to overcome the challenge from his countryman Khachanov.
As far as Khachanov is concerned, he would desperately hope to continue his winning ways at Montreal in order to gather some momentum before he sets his eyes on the upcoming US Open.
In a battle of two young, promising and exuberant Russians, will Medvedev overcome Khachanov to reach his 5th final in 2019 or will Khachanov, with his aggression, overpower Medvedev to bring about a turnaround to his 2019 season?
An absorbing, fascinating all Russian semi-final encounter can well and truly grab the headlines of the semi-final Saturday at Montreal.
Prediction: Karen Khachanov to win in three sets.