Fifth seed Daniil Medvedev will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-final of the US Open on Thursday.
The last month or so has been a whirlwind period for Medvedev. Since Wimbledon, he played three tournaments before the US Open. The Russian reached the final of all three. In the Washington Open and Canadian Open, he lost in the final. However, he breached that hurdle when he beat David Goffin to win the title at the Cincinnati Open. Then he arrived in New York for the last Slam of the year, and he has had an eventful tournament.
Among all things, Medvedev has shown the US Open crowd that he is a terrific tennis player. He faced Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-final and claimed a 7-6(6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win. In the first set, Medvedev needed a medical timeout and had to tape his leg for the pain. But he won the tie-break in tight circumstances, and that seemed to give him the will to carry on. Wawrinka took the third set, but he pulled clear in the fourth to reach the semi-final.Embed from Getty Images
Aside from his tennis, other traits of Medvedev have also made the headlines. In his third-round match with Feliciano Lopez, he snatched a towel from a ball boy and threw his racket. Then the Russian showed his middle finger to the crowd, which prompted an avalanche of boos. His post-match interview was dripping with sarcasm as he appreciated the crowd. He may not be the fan favorite, but Medvedev is undoubtedly someone who has been in the thick of things so far in New York.
He will come up against Grigor Dimitrov, whose career trajectory has been the opposite of Medvedev in recent years. The Bulgarian was ranked third in the world in 2017, but he is unseeded at this US Open. Three of his opponents so far have been in that bracket as well. But there was no luck in the way he beat Roger Federer in the quarter-final to book his spot in the semi-final.Embed from Getty Images
Dimitrov won 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a thrilling encounter with the third seed. Federer was struggling with injury, but no credit should be taken away from Dimitrov. The game was a close one, and Dimitrov won 139 points in total compared to 135 by Federer. The Bulgarian is ranked 78th in the world, but no one would have believed that based on his tennis against the Swiss legend.
The two have met before twice in their careers, and the wins have been split. Both those matches were in 2017. Medvedev won the hardcourt clash in Washington, whereas Dimitrov got the win on grass.
Daniil Medvedev vs Grigor Dimitrov Prediction
This is a tough game to call, and there is a high chance of the match going the distance. Medvedev has had a hectic August, and he could sap in the latter stages. Still, his form is hard to ignore, and Wawrinka will attest to that. The match should last for at least four sets, if not more. Despite the absence of the usual suspects from the semi-final, it promises to be a hugely intriguing encounter.