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Daniil Medvedev beat compatriot Karen Khachanov in Miami Open semi-final. The three-set victory allowed him to reach his fifth successive final, becoming the first man since 1981 to do so.
Before making the trip to the US, Medvedev had reached finals in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai. Jannick Sinner bowed to his doggedness in the Netherlands. The resurgent Andy Murray was laid to waste in Doha. In the Emirates, Andrey Rublev had no answer to his power strokes.
By reaching the ATP 1000 Miami final, Daniil Medvedev has now reached the final of every ATP 1000 and Slam played on hard courts, as well as the ATP Finals.
He's also made finals of most 500s on hard to boot (Rotterdam, Dubai, Washington, Tokyo, Vienna).pic.twitter.com/D2nxcllG9c
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 31, 2023
Three successive finals and three victories. More of the same was expected as the Russian set his sights at the Sunshine Double. He forced his way to the Indian Wells final but came up short against Carlos Alcaraz. After booking his place in the Miami Open final, the will want to avenge his defeat against the Spanish upstart.
Medvedev would not want to go down to Alcaraz in the final but will be pleased in making history at Hard Rock Stadium. He adds his name alongside Ivan Lendl in the annals of history with his fifth successive final. Not even the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer can make the same claim.
Made to sweat by Khachanov
The 27-year-old had raced to the Miami Open semi-finals. He had made little work of Roberto Carballes Baena, Quentin Halys and Christopher Eubanks while being afforded a walkover by Alex Molcan on the way.
Khachanov was Medvedev’s stiffest test and their duel proved so. The Russian aces exchanged blows, breaking each other’s serve in the first set to force a tie-breaker. Medvedev triumphed 7-5 but the gruelling games set the tone of the match.
Khachanov rallied back in the second set, breaking Medvedev to make it 0-2 early and then taking the set. The duo were at each other’s throats in the final set but a mistake in the fourth game saw Medvedev taking the lead and then cruising to book his place in the final.
“In my opinion, it was a top match. In the first set when we lost our serves, it was just a good game from the returner. In the second set, I had one bad game and he won the set. I had one break point.
“I could have done better. He had a breakpoint in the first game of the third set. I managed to play well. He had one bad game in the third set. I managed to take it and I am really happy to be through. It was a very tough match”, Medvedev remarked.
Conquering Miami Open and Alcaraz
Medvedev was humbled by Alcaraz in their Indian Wells bout. His Master’s final defeat came in straight sets, one he wants to overcome in the second leg of the Sunshine Double.
Medvedev on if he can win Miami: “I have to believe in myself. I know I can win big titles & beat anybody. Alcaraz is on fire right now, but you cannot win 100 matches in a row. Maybe 40, 45. But someone will put water on this fire. It might be Sinner today, might be me Sunday.” pic.twitter.com/95Fpno6ez8
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) March 31, 2023
The 27-year-old ace wants to add to his 18 career titles and is one step closer to it. He is backing himself to achieve the target and knows he has the skill set to do so. Pointing at Alcaraz’s recent run, Medvedev backed himself to realize the goal, stating the fact that no one remains winless forever.
“I have to believe in myself, I know that I’m capable of winning big titles, I know that I can play well, I can beat anybody,” he said after his win over Khachanov. “For sure Carlos is on fire right now but you cannot win 100 matches in a row.
“You can win maybe 40 or 45, whatever Novak did. But at one moment somebody is going to put the water on this fire – it might be Sinner today, it might be me on Sunday, it might be someone else next tournament. But you have to believe in yourself, you have to try your best, play your best tennis.”
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