There will be a new grand slam finalist in the US Open final on Sunday with either Grigor Dimitrov or Daniil Medvedev taking part for the first time. Medvedev is looking to be the first of the “Next Gen” to make a final while it would be a long time coming for Dimitrov, who was heralded as the future of tennis in the post-Big 4 era.
At No. 78, Dimitrov is the lowest ranked player in a slam semi final for over 10 years. He had a bit of fortune in avoiding Borna Coric early on after the Croatian withdrew but has more than earned his place in the final four. He came from 1-2 down to beat Roger Federer with the 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win marking his first against the Swiss in eight attempts. It’s been one of the all time unlikely runs this deep in the tournament for a player who lost in the opening round of five of his last six tournaments. “I think the past six, seven months have been pretty rough for me. But I had somebody to lean on, my friends, my family. I kept on believing again in the work, the rehab I had to put behind my shoulder, the exercise, the practice, fixing up the racquet a little bit. There were so many things I had to adjust in such a small but big period of time, next thing you know, you’re almost [at the] end of the year, you have a result like that. It’s pretty special to me.” Dimitrov said on what the result means to him.”
Medvedev was tipped as a potential finalist if the draw broke down although expectations were he would meet his match against Novak Djokovic. As it was, that match didn’t happen and he is now through to the semi finals after beating Stanislas Wawrinka instead. He won in four in a wild match against the former champion, who was clearly put off by Medvedev’s minor injury woes. “I had a big pain in my quadriceps and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to continue the match in the first set,” Medvedev said on court. “I saw that it was bothering Stan because I know how it is to play an injured player. It’s tough because you try to just put the ball in and then the guy starts to get everything. So I feel really strange about this match, but I am happy to be in my first major semi.”
Medvedev should be the comfortable favourite going into this one but his quad issues make things more complex. The Russian has been serving well and looks a more rounded and consistent player in 2019. He is second on the aces leaderboard this fortnight but it isn’t only him who is putting up good numbers on serve, with Dimitrov protecting his second serve very well – holding the top winning % for points on second serve this tournament. Medvedev’s confidence will be sky high after an incredible summer and there would be no better way to top it off than making his first grand slam final.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in four sets