Daniil Medvedev set for Vienna Open final against Denis Shapovalov

Daniil Medvedev in action

Daniil Medvedev downed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2 in the pair’s semi-final clash at the ATP 500 Vienna Open to enhance his pursuit of a place in the tour finals.

He will face Denis Shapovalov in the championship match as Canadian’s have reached finals in both Basel and Vienna with Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Swiss Indoors championship match.

Medvedev was relentless in his retrieving and precise serving which proved the difference as he charged to a 85-minute victory to reach the final in Vienna for the first time.

“It was a great match,” said Medvedev.

“There were a few moments in the match where I thought I should have done just a little bit better, to go in front earlier and try to build the pressure earlier.

“Then I managed to stay consistent and, in the most important points, managed to raise my level. That was enough today, and I’m really happy with my level.”

Dimitrov had hit his stride en route to the semi-finals in Vienna, where he was imposing in taking out third seed and ATP Finals hopeful Andrey Rublev in the second round.

Despite hitting 21 winners to Medvedev’s 17, Dimitrov could not frequently penetrate the top seed’s watertight defence and failed to gain a foothold in the match at any point.

As he had in his wins against Nikoloz Basilashvili, Dominic Thiem and Sinner this week, Medvedev was metronomic on serve again.

The former World No 1 won 87 per cent (27/31) of points behind his first serve to power a win that saw him improve his head-to-head record against the Bulgarian to 4-2.

“The serve is probably the most important shot in tennis,” said Medvedev. “I was lacking it a little bit this season, I was doing too many double faults. Sometimes in important moments my serve could have been a little bit better. I was working a lot with my coach to try and find this rhythm [again], and so far I’m serving good here. I’m really happy about it and that’s also why I’m playing so good.”

Medvedev is yet to drop his serve this week in Austria across four matches and will face Shapovalov in Sunday’s final as he chases his second title of the ATP season.

Shapovalovalso enjoyed a straight-sets semi-final win, downing Borna Coric 7-6(4), 6-0.

Shapovalov edged Coric in a hard-fought opening set that saw a stark absence of break points.

The former top ten player raised his level in the tie-break, and Coric had no answer to his big hitting in the second set.

Shapovalov raced away to his second tour-level championship match of the season after racking up 26 winners and converting three of his four break point opportunities in handing Coric a bagel.

“I’m just happy to get through and be in another final this season, beating some top guys and great players along the way,” said Shapovalov after the match. “I’m very happy with my performances this week and today was another amazing match. Obviously, Borna’s playing some great tennis, he beat some great players this week, so really happy to win today and really happy with my game.”

After winning his first two meetings with Medvedev, Shapovalov has fallen to straight-sets defeats in the past three tour-level clashes between the pair.

Shapovalov is aware of the challenge he faces against the in-form top seed in Sunday’s championship match but is nonetheless confident as he plays for his second ATP title.

“It’s super tough,” said the Canadian.

“I’ve struggled against him in the last couple of matches that we’ve played. He’s an extremely difficult opponent to play against. He bothers a lot of guys, so it’s going to be a difficult matchup, [but] I’m confident in myself, I think I’m playing some really good tennis. I’m going to take it to him and battle my heart out.”

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