Andrey Rublev takes advantage of Daniil Medvedev’s collapse in Cincy’s heat | Tennis News
World number seven Rublev had never won as much as a set in four previous losses to his compatriot, currently ranked second in the world and seeded in the prestigious hard-core tournament that serves as the tune-up for the US Open.
But with Medvedev requiring three separate medical timeouts – for his left hand after hitting a camera on the field during a shot as well as for his right forearm and right thigh – the second half of the game in 31-degree heat ( C) has been there for the taking.
Rublev readjusted after losing the first set, hung on during his opponent’s injury dramas and a heated discussion with the referee over camera placement and ultimately secured his winning chances in the final set after a quarter past two.
He will play for the title against the winner of Saturday’s second semi-final between second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and third-seeded Olympic champion Alexander Zverev.
A frustrated Medvedev, who was hoping to secure a brace at the Canada-U.S. Masters after winning in Toronto this weekend, lost on Rublev’s second match point.
“I don’t know how I turned around,” Rublev said. “Every point was so close, the game was so intense – it was just like a game of chess.”
Rublev said he needs to choose his moments as he draws closer to success.
“He’s never going to give you a chance so I had to find the right time to make him run.
“This victory will give me confidence knowing that I can compete with him, but I still have a lot to improve.”
On the women’s side, world number one Ashleigh Barty reached her sixth final of the season with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Angelique Kerber.
The Australian seed, who has topped the table for the past 82 weeks, needed an hour and a quarter to qualify for Sunday’s title match, surpassing his performance in the 2019 semi-finals.
Barty will play for the trophy on Sunday against the winner of a later match between Swiss wild card Jil Teichmann – who beat good friend and Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic in the quarter-finals – and Czech fifth seed Karolina Pliskova , over a year and a half untitled.
Against Kerber, Barty extended his series lead between several Grand Slam winners to 4-2 by doubling a Wimbledon semi-final victory last month.
Barty produced a dozen aces and beat Kerber five times.
Her 39 match wins this year put her ahead of Aryna Sabalenka on the WTA roster.
The seed had to employ a certain strategy to lead it to victory.
The pair traded two breaks in the second set, with Barty ultimately securing the decisive fifth break in the final game.
“It was frustrating, because I knew Angie was lifting (her game) and I had to go with her,” Barty said. “Not being able to run the points when I had them configured the way I wanted was frustrating.
“I was able to regain that momentum with the break right away, then it was a bit of a standoff.
“I was able to put pressure on his plays, but we both did a good job getting out of some tough holes at the end of that second set.
“I had to accept that if I was going to fail, I was going to fail in the right way.
“It was huge at the end,” added Barty, who drew 29 winners to 16 for Kerber.
Kerber said she was ultimately overwhelmed.
She’s starting to play very aggressively, and I was just trying to find my rhythm, “said the German.
“I tried to come back in the second set.” I had my chances, but she played really well in the important moments and closed the game in her own way.
“I’m pretty happy with my result this week, to have had some good games before going to New York (for the US Open).”