Astana (Kazakhstan), October 9 World No. 7 Novak Djokovic entered the final of the Astana Open after Daniil Medvedev retired from the pair’s semi-final bout on the finish of a dramatic second-set tie-break as a result of a leg harm. Saturday.

Moments after Medvedev’s retirement, Djokovic achieved a dramatic tie-break to degree the match 4-6, 7-6 (6). It was an unlucky finish to what was to be one of many matches of the 12 months on the ATP Tour, with each gamers bringing excessive requirements of their eleventh ATP face-to-face assembly.

“I actually hope his harm isn’t too critical. I do know Daniel, he’s an important man, he’s a fighter, he’s an important competitor. He doesn’t retire from a match if he doesn’t really feel prefer it.” He [could] proceed or [if it wouldn’t] make his harm worse. He informed me he pulled an adductor muscle in his leg,” Djokovic stated.

“It was such a detailed match, particularly within the second set. I might in all probability say that he was the higher participant on the courtroom in each the units. I used to be combating and looking for a means out. I discovered a technique to win second, however I’m unhappy for the event and for the individuals who have been having fun with the combat, and for Daniels it needed to finish like this,” he stated.

Djokovic will now be aiming for a consecutive title win in Sunday’s final in opposition to Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 winner in opposition to Andre Rublev. The Serbian, who took his 89th Tour-level crown in Tel Aviv final week, leads the ATP head-to-head sequence 7-2 over Tsitsipas.

Incredibly, it was Djokovic and Medvedev’s first assembly of 2022 – and solely the second occasion after Roland Garros the place they have been in the identical draw. It was additionally Djokovic’s first match in opposition to a Top 10 participant on onerous courtroom because the 2021 ATP Finals, the place he misplaced to Alexander Zverev within the semi-finals. Medvedev, alternatively, wished his first indoor hard-court final because the identical occasion.

The battle between the second and fourth seeds was a grasp class in geometry, as each gamers created a dizzying array of artistically complicated, intuitive photographs.

There have been in all probability three consecutive breaks of service within the first set, two of which have been from Medvedev, who transformed his possibilities of solely two breaks. Serving 5-4, he ran 40/0 and took the set on his second probability.

There was no break of serve within the second set and therefore it got here to a tie-break. Medvedev gained the primary level, then Djokovic hit a drop shot on 4 consecutive factors – and gained all of them. Eventually, he gained the tie-break on one other drop shot when Medvedev’s forehand lob went lengthy.

By successful Wimbledon in July, Djokovic is assured to qualify for the ATP Finals as present 12 months’s Grand Slam champion, ending within the prime 20 of the ATP Race to Turin, if he ought to win the Astana Open.

A win within the ATP 500 will give Djokovic sufficient factors to make sure he’s within the prime 20 of the race on Monday after the Paris Masters.



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