The singles action is restricted to just one match at the Australian Open on Friday and it forms the second men’s semi-final as we get to find out who will face Novak Djokovic in the final of the competition on Sunday night.
Djokovic cruised into the final in straight sets on Thursday but you sense the second semi-final will be a much closer affair when Daniil Medvedev goes up against Stefanos Tsitsipas in what promises to be a cracking encounter.
With the exception of one match in the middle of his campaign, this has been a brilliant run for Daniil Medvedev as he chases a first Grand Slam title. You had the feeling that he would go well this fortnight given that he looked imperious in the ATP Cup where he was a huge part of the winning Russian side. He has taken that form into this tournament and will be looking to use it to reach a second Grand Slam final of his career.
The ATP Finals champion of last season has played five matches so far and has come through in straight sets in four of them. He claimed his straight sets win over his fellow Russian player Andrey Rublev in the previous round was one of his best so there is a sense he is getting better. If that is the case then both Tsitsipas and Djokovic might be in trouble. Medvedev is serving very well at the minute and he is always a danger from the back of the court.
Unlike his opponent in this semi-final, Stefanos Tsitsipas has only played four matches in this tournament as Matteo Berrettini didn’t turn up for their last 16 clash but you could argue he has played five because his quarter final with Rafael Nadal was like two matches in one. The Greek gladiator had to come from two sets down against the Spanish legend in what was a brutal match physically in the end.
That will inevitably lead to many wondering whether he has had enough time to recover and go again in this match. You would imagine he has but we probably shouldn’t take it for granted so it might be that a good start is a must for Tsitsipas, particularly as that was the second time in this tournament that he has gone to a deciding set. Another thing which we might see the Greek attempt to do is end the points quickly and preserve some energy.
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Head to Head
These two have met on six previous occasions and it is Daniil Medvedev who has had much the better of their past meetings. He leads 5-1 overall but he will be aware that it was Stefanos Tsitsipas who won their previous battle at the o2 in 2019. Medvedev has kicked on again since then though which will give him confidence. Medvedev has won their three outdoor hard court meetings and their only previous Grand Slam battle as well. That came at the US Open in 2018, before Tsitsipas made his breakthrough here the following year, where Medvedev won in four sets. History is certainly on the side of the Russian here.
I’m expecting another titanic encounter here because both men are going to leave everything on the line to make a Grand Slam final – a second for Medvedev and a first one for Tsitsipas. I don’t think either man is going to have come this far just to go out tamely and as long as there is no fitness hangover in the legs of Tsitsipas, which for his age there shouldn’t be, at least not to start with anyway, then we could be going very deep here.
These two have been no strangers to close matches throughout their careers. Half of their matches have gone to a deciding set and although their last two have been won in straight sets there hasn’t been a set won easier than 6-4. That makes me think that a four set match, which is the least I expect here, should be enough to get a 38.5 game line covered. When they met at the US Open in 2018 there were 38 games but Tsitsipas has come on with all parts of his game since then. I think by the time this one has finished game number 39 will have been played out.
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