New York, Sep 11 (IANS) Russian tennis ace and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev said after his victory over 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada that he didn’t play at his best on Saturday (IST) and hoped he could win the US Open title this time around after losing the title match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal in 2019.
Medvedev had enjoyed a run to his maiden Slam final in New York in 2019 where the 25-year-old had rallied from two sets down to force a fifth set against Nadal, before the Spaniard prevailed 6-4 in the decider.
“It was a strange match a little bit in the second set (today),” Medvedev said in his on-court interview.
“I think everyone felt like it was going to be one set all and then you never know where the match would go. I managed to save the set points and the match turned around completely,” Medvedev told atptour.com after the 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win against the Canadian.
After Medvedev closed out the opener, Auger-Aliassime began to find more success on return in the second set as he demonstrated impressive footwork and forced Medvedev back with his aggressive forehand.
However, Medvedev’s ability to chase down ball after ball put pressure on Auger-Alissiame, who from 5-2 lost five straight games and squandered two sets points when serving at 5-4, as Medvedev took control.
“I don’t think I played my best today, but I am really happy to be in the final on Sunday,” Medvedev said. “When he (Auger-Aliassime) had two set points (in the second set), the only thing I was thinking was, don’t hit an ace on the line and I am going to make you play.”
Medvedev said that a crucial point in the second set turned the tide in his favour.
“At 5-4 (in the second set), I knew it was an important point in the match where I needed to do everything at my best because that was the moment I could break him mentally and that is what happened.”
With his victory, the Russian has still never lost a hard-court Slam match after winning the first set (31-0). Medvedev converted all five break point opportunities he created in the match as he raised his level in the key moment.
On his chances in the final, Medvedev said, “If it is going to be the same match on Sunday [as the 2019 US Open final], I just hope I can win this time.”