Andrey Rublev came from a set down to seal a 2-6 6-3 6-3 win against Daniil Medvedev in their Western & Southern Open semi-final.
The win represents his first against Medvedev, who had a nasty collision with a camera during the second set, and sees the 23-year-old Rublev into his second ATP Masters 1000 final.
Medvedev enjoyed a 4-0 head-to-head record against his compatriot coming into the match and dominated from the baseline in a first set that saw Rublev hit 18 unforced errors. However, Rublev, who had failed to take a set off Medvedev in those four previous encounters, rallied in a more competitive second set, and converted his fifth break point opportunity in the eighth game to secure the decisive break.
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Rublev held his nerve to serve it out to send their match to a decider, where the pair shared serve until the seventh game when a host of Medvedev errors afforded Rublev another break opportunity. Rublev duly took it, held to love and then broke the serve of Medvedev again to seal his place in the final.
“The match was so intense, so many long rallies, super tough, super physical, super mental. A lot like a chess match,” Rublev told the ATP website after the match.
Medvedev is one of those players who won’t give you a chance to attack, but if I have enough power and chose the right moment, I have to be the one to make him run. In the end, I was trying to find the perfect moment to start being more aggressive to open the angles.
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Rublev will take on Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in the final following the German's thrilling comeback win over Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Zverev looked down and out when trailing by a double break in the final set, but he found reserves to claim a 6-4 3-6 7-6(4) win.
"After the first break [to get to 2-4] I thought I had a chance and I felt he wasn’t serving bombs and that I was in the rallies,” Zverev said. “It was a little bit of the mentality that I had against Novak at the Olympics.”
Zverev is hopeful his win will act as a boost to morale ahead of the US Open.
"Before the US Open we didn’t want to give each other anything, which is what the match showed," Zverev said. "It was a great battle and the last matches we have played have been like that.”
On the women’s side of the draw, Ashleigh Barty progressed to a 19th career final courtesy of a 6-2 7-5 win over Angelique Kerber.
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The encounter was a re-match of their Wimbledon semi-final and Barty, 25, dominated the first set, breaking Kerber twice in a 29-minute evisceration of her opponent. And when she broke again early in the second set to make it six games on the bounce, it looked as though the match was about to become a formality.
However, three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber capitalised on a lull from the world number one to earn two breaks of her own to exert a measure of control that had hitherto eluded her, only for Barty, who threw down 12 aces, to claim breaks four and five of her opponent's serve – in the sixth and 12th games – to claim the win that sent her into a sixth final of a standout season.
“It’s never, ever a walk in the park against Angie, she’s an exceptional competitor and I think early on in that second set she lifted and went into another gear and it took me a few games to go with her,” said Barty after.
Awaiting her in the final will be Jil Teichmann after she beat Karolina Pliskova 6-2 6-4. Wildcard Teichmann has also beaten Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and Naomi Osaka on her way to the final.
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