Final encore – Sport – Kommersant

In the semi-finals of the US Open, in which decisive events unfold, Russian Daniil Medvedev defeated Canadian Felix Auger-Alyassim in three games. Thus, the current second racket of the world will play its third final at the Grand Slam tournaments. Recall that the first of them, against the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, took place two years ago in New York.

In this meeting, despite the presence of a clear favorite before its start and a seemingly unambiguous result, there was still its own small, but quite tangible intrigue. And she was born in the second game, after Daniil Medvedev, who took the first set very confidently, made his first double mistake at the break point in the sixth game, and a few minutes later was forced to save two set points, losing 3: 5. To argue that Felix Auger-Alyassim lacked at that moment is now pointless – the score is on the scoreboard. However, most likely, the reason for his failure is very commonplace and consists in an elementary lack of experience. The most minimal experience of participating in the most important matches, affecting those moments when a tennis player’s hand must be firm, even if the rest of his body is pretty shaking.

Apart from the seventh game of the first set failed by Auger-Allassim, the Canadian was very good for about 80 minutes. His serve certainly lacked stability, resulting in nine double faults, and a sharp reverse cross – a right-handed strike from the left corner diagonally – was crashing more often than it should. Nevertheless, the break made by the debutant of such semi-finals in the sixth game of the second game did not look accidental.

His tennis, based on accented shots, sometimes looked very advantageous, and as soon as Daniil Medvedev lost his concentration for a short time, he immediately ran into problems.

The Russian is now too strong to lose to Auger-Alyassim, who is still damp by the standards of the tennis elite. Therefore, the outcome of the match would hardly have changed even if the Canadian took the second set. It’s just that Medvedev would have had to run around the Arthur Ash court for about an hour longer, but he didn’t even need that. Having missed his chance, Auger-Allassim instantly unstuck, having lost the minimum margin of safety that he had, and, apparently, completely forgot what the master of psychological attitudes Tony Nadal told him before the game.

As a result – 6: 4, 7: 5, 6: 2 in 2 hours 3 minutes with a noticeable advantage of Medvedev in almost all statistical indicators. This is especially true of the points won at the reception – 40 against 20 and the implementation of break points – 5 out of 5. And the score of blows through – 33:16 – looks very worthy for the US Open semifinals. In the final, such statistics would be very useful!

The last opponent of the Russian in this tournament was determined in a completely different match, much more principled and with the deepest intrigue. In it, Novak Djokovic in 3 hours 33 minutes still managed to break the resistance of Alexander Zverev, who a month and a half ago stood on the way of the Serb to Olympic gold. The first five-set match with the participation of Djokovic in two weeks ended with a score of 4: 6, 6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 6: 2. And now from two historical achievements – the 21st title in the Grand Slam tournaments and, in fact, the Grand Slam itself, that is, the fourth victory in the majors during the season, he is separated by only one rival well known to him – Medvedev. The score of their personal meetings – 5: 3, in favor of the leader of the world ranking, and the last time they dealt with each other in February in the Australian Open final, where Djokovic almost without question took the upper hand in three games.

“If I manage to defeat him, I will probably go down in history as the person who did not let him go to the Grand Slam. However, this does not bother me, ”the Russian said.

The final will start on Sunday at 23:00 Moscow time.

Evgeny Fedyakov

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