Daniil Medvedev beats Felix Auger-Aliassime in US Open semis to reach third Grand Slam final

NEW YORK -- DaniilMedvedev was just one point away from being tied at a set apiece against Felix Auger­Aliassime in his US Open semifinal.
No. The No. 2 seed Medvedev escaped that tight spot and beat an error-prone Auger Aliassime 6-4 7-5, 6-2 on Friday. He now heads to his third Grand Slam final.

Medvedev, who was trailing 5-2 in set two, said that it was a strange match. "Managed to save set points. He missed one volley, I scored one. The match was won.

This match was essentially an opening act for the main event: No. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. Fourth Alexander Zverev will be playing in Friday's second semifinal.

Medvedev said that it was a "great match", so he advised everyone to go see it. After having dinner delivered, he planned to see it.

Djokovic started the day at 26-0 at major tournaments 2021, with titles in the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Wimbledon. He also has his sights set on becoming the first man since Rod Laver 1969 to complete a calendar year Grand Slam. Laver was present at Friday's matches in the President's Box at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Medvedev, a Russian 25-year-old, finished second to Djokovic in Melbourne Park in February, and Rafael Nadal in Flushing Meadows in 2019, respectively. Medvedev was making his third consecutive trip to the US Open semi-finals.

Medvedev said, "I don’t think I played at my best today." He has dropped just one set in six matches during the past two weeks. But, he added, "but it’s really great to be in the final."

Nadal's uncle Toni is the coach of Auger-Aliassime, a Canadian 21-year old. For the first time, he was in a major semifinal.

Perhaps the novelty of it all affected him. Medvedev's play was no different.

Auger-Aliassime was left with 39 unforced mistakes, including three double-faults in the first game. There were only 17 winners.

Compare this to Medvedev’s numbers, compiled using behind-the-baseline coverage of court cases and slick strokes. There are 37 winners and 25 unforced mistakes.

Auger-Aliassime won a break point after more than an hour. A double fault by Medvedev gave Auger-Aliassime a 4-2 lead which quickly turned into 5-2. Auger-Aliassime was still unable to win the set at 5-3 despite going up 30-love, 40-30, and 40-30.

"The only thing that I was thinking was: "Don't make an Ace on the Line, Please, and I'm going make you play ,''' Medvedev afterward.

Twice, he was just a point away from winning the set. Twice it didn't happen. Most disconcertingly, he missed what should be a routine forehandvolley and slapping the ball into the net.

Auger-Aliassime lost the game due to a bad backhand. Then, more errors -- including a double error -- led to Auger Aliassime losing at love to trail 6-5.

Medvedev held to end a five-game streak and take a two-set lead. The match was over after 1 1/2 hours.

Zverev and Medvedev are both looking for their first Grand Slam title. Djokovic is attempting to win the 21st overall title at the sport's four most prestigious tournaments. This would break the men’s career mark that he shares with Roger Federer and Nadal.

Zverev entered Friday with a 16-match winning streak. He also defeated Djokovic in Tokyo Olympics semifinals July 30 to earn the gold medal. It was a match in best-of-3 sets. In New York, it is best-of-5 for men.