Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev advanced to his first Grand Slam final on Friday by defeating Bulgaria’s 78th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3 in a US Open semi-final.
Medvedev will play in Sunday’s championship match against the winner of a later semi-final between Italian 24th seed Matteo Berrettini and 18-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
“I felt he was much closer in the first set,” Medvedev said. “Finally I’m here after three sets. I’m just happy to be in the final.”
Medvedev is the first Russian in a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open title and the first Russian to reach the US Open final since Safin won the 2000 crown.
Nadal beat Medvedev in last month’s Montreal final in their only meeting then skipped Cincinnati, where Medvedev won the title. Medvedev, now 20-2 in the four North American events, beat Berrettini last year at Indian Wells in their only matchup.
“When I was going to USA, I didn’t know it was going to be this good,” Medvedev said. “So I have to say I love USA.”
Medvedev, 23, becomes the third men’s Grand Slam finalist born in the 1990s after Canada’s Milos Raonic and Austria’s Dominic Thiem and would become the first such Slam winner with a weekend victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Medvedev is only the third Open Era player to reach finals in Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open in the same year after Ivan Lendl in 1982 and Andre Agassi in 1995. His only title in those US Open tuneups came at Cincinnati.
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