Novak Djokovic reached the ATP Astana Open final after overcoming Daniil Medvedev who conceded a walkover midway into the semifinal on Saturday.
Medvedev, who took the first set retired due to an injury after losing a thrilling tie-break in the second set as the scoreline read 4-6, 7-6(6).
“I really hope that his injury is nothing too serious,” Djokovic was quoted by ATP after the match. “I know Daniil, he’s a great guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a big competitor. He wouldn’t retire a match if he didn’t feel that he [could] continue or [if it wouldn’t] worsen his injury. He told me that he pulled an adductor muscle in his leg.
“It was such a close match, particularly in the second set. I would probably say he was a better player on the court in both sets. I was fighting and trying to find a way. I found a way to win the second, but I’m just sad for the tournament and for these people who were enjoying the battle, and for Daniil that it had to end this way.”
This was the pair’s first meeting in 2022. Djokovic and Medvedev had finished 2021 as World No. 1 and 2 respectively according to the ATP rankings. The two played against each other in two Slam finals. In the Australian Open 2021 summit clash, Djokovic thrashed the Russian 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 for his ninth title in Melbourne. However, later in the year, Medvedev spoiled Djokovic’s plan of becoming the first man in 52 years to complete a Calendar Slam, with an emphatic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over the Serb in the US Open final.
Djokovic will now aim to seal successive ATP titles during Sunday’s final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who overcame Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal. Djokovic, who won his 89th ATP title in Tel Aviv last week, has won seven of his nine contests against Tsitsipas.
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