“He played amazing tennis”: Djokovic hails Medvedev after Russian blasts into Cincinnati final
World tennis number one Novak Djokovic paid tribute to Daniil Medvedev after the Russian produced a brilliant serving display to knock him out of the Cincinnati Masters at the semi-final stage.
Medvedev defeated Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to book his place in the tournament final and earn praise from his rival, who described the experience of facing a man who took a fearless approach to his second serves during the match.
“I did not experience this too many times in my career that someone goes so big on second serves and just serves two first serves basically for an extended period of time,” said Djokovic.
“When someone serves a 128 miles-per-hour second serve and doesn’t make too many double faults and goes for every shot, you just have to put your hat down and congratulate him.”
Medvedev explained that his decision to go for it on second serve was born out of fatigue after being run off his feet by Djokovic in the opening set.
“I was so tired in the first set and playing Novak, I thought I’m not going to be able to keep the intensity,” Medvedev told ESPN at courtside.
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“Then there was one momentum change in the second (set) and I just started playing unbelievable.”
Loading up on second serve is a risky business, but Medvedev revealed that it’s a tactic he’s used many times before.
“I do it all the time when my second serve doesn’t work,” he explained.
“Novak, he was destroying me on the second serve so at one moment, at three-all, love-30, I’m like ‘OK, what’s the matter?'”
The change in tactic saw him claim the second set as the Russian star took the initiative and didn’t let up as he took the third set to earn his place in the final, where he will face Belgian David Goffin.
And Medvedev will head into the final full of confidence, not only as a result of his performance, but because of the praise heaped on him by Djokovic after the match.
“He played amazing tennis from 4-3 in the second set. Not much that I could really do,” admitted a magnanimous Djokovic.
“He’s working his way to the top five (in the world). Today I did lose a tennis match, but I didn’t do too much wrong.”