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Medvedev’s path to the final in his favorite Slam. Exploring the 2023 US Open draw

Date: September 24, 2023 Time: 20:03:55

Medvedev’s path to the final in his favorite Slam. Exploring the 2023 US Open draw

Artyom Taimanov August 25, 2023, 13:30 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.

Here’s who the 2021 US Open winner and 2019 runner-up may face on his way to another final in New York.

The US Open draw turned out pretty good for Daniil Medvedev. Of course, he could have had better luck, but at least he didn’t start with seasoned veterans and unseeded players like Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka, or “feeders” like retired John Isner, Hubert Hurkacz or Alexander Bublik. Let’s examine the Russian’s grid, who had a back-to-back final, semi-final and title before his failure last year (he lost in the round of 16 to Nick Kiryos) at the US Open.

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Third-placed Daniil moved into the top half of the draw and will start the tournament with a match against Attila Balazs. The 34-year-old Hungarian tennis player seems almost the perfect rival to warm up, jump on the court and hit the balls. Due to early losses at the Toronto Masters (quarterfinals) and Cincinnati (3rd round), Medvedev didn’t get much playing practice before the US Open, so what he needs are lightweight opponents early on. Balazs, in principle, never grabbed the stars from the sky, his best result in the ranking is 76th place. He won his last match in May 2022 (!) at the Challenger, and at a higher level he did not win at Roland Garros 2020, where he reached the second round. After Wimbledon 2022, he played only three matches and lost all of them, so now Attila doesn’t even have a rating. He entered the main draw with a protected ranking, which can be activated in the event of an extended injury absence.

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Next, Medvedev is waiting for an Australian, either Max Purcell or Christopher O’Connell. Purcell, by the way, played together with Andrei Rublev at both Masters before the US Open, and in Canada they reached the quarterfinals. In singles, he also performed quite well: in Toronto he fought Andy Murray, and in Cincinnati he defeated Kasper Ruud and Stan Wawrinka, and then even took a set from Carlos Alcaraz. Most likely, Max will become Daniil’s opponent in the second round, and here you already have to keep your eyes open.

Should he successfully advance up the grid, the Russian’s next rival will most likely be Borna Coric. True, the Croat is now far from the best form from him (however, Medvedev clearly has not yet found optimal conditions), but until the third round he, too, has no dangerous rivals. By the way, Coric leads Medvedev in personal meetings with a score of 4-3, but all the victories came from 2017-2018, when Daniil was not the best player.

In the round of 16, if there are no surprises, the Russian tennis player will play with Alex de Minor. It was this Australian who knocked out Daniil in the Toronto quarterfinals and ultimately reached the title match at that Masters, losing it to Yannick Sinner. Taking into account the similar conditions in terms of coverage, balls, etc. in Toronto and at the US Open, and also the fact that this is De Minor’s second win in a row over Medvedev after four losses, the Russian will surely face a serious test here. It is true that in Canada Daniil had excellent chances in both sets, but he missed them for sure. If you treat the key draws more carefully here, then everything can end quite successfully.

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But there are more questions regarding a potential opponent in the quarterfinals. Of course, Russian fans would very much like to see the Medvedev derby there, either with Andrei Rublev or with Karen Khachanov, who finally seems to return to the pitch after a stress fracture, but the form of both raises big questions. Karena: For obvious reasons, he didn’t play for almost three months, after the Roland Garros quarterfinals (and, by the way, defending points for the semifinals in New York). And Andrei has already suffered three straight defeats in singles, and in the first round he will face Emil Ruusuvuori: he was the Finn whom he lost in a dogged fight at the start of Cincinnati. In this sense, Hubert Hurkach has a good chance of reaching the quarterfinals from this part of the grid, who in both Masters before the US Open only lost to Alcaraz, and on both occasions in very tense fights. The Pole has always been an uncomfortable opponent for Medvedev, so Daniil can have a very hard time here.

If we proceed from the fact that Medvedev will face both Hurkach and other tennis players and reach the semifinals, then the most likely opponents are two – Alcaraz and Sinner. Yes, yes, Carlos and Yannick were again very close in the tournament standings and can meet in the quarterfinals (if, for example, the Italian does not lose to Alexander Zverev in the round of 16). They always get very close matches and the head to head score in ATP and Slam tournaments is 3-3. In the US Open quarterfinals a year ago, the Spaniard had to earn match points to overcome Sinner, and this spring they traded wins in the Indian Wells and Miami Masters semifinals. At the same time, for Daniil the result of his potential duel could be decisive in reaching the final of the American Major. Carlos outscores him 2-1 in personal meetings, while he wins both fights with very, very confidence this year, but the Russian just “destroys” Yannick – 6-0, including 2-0 in the 2023 season.

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Should he successfully complete the title semifinal match, Medvedev will most likely fight Novak Djokovic, as he did two years ago. Then Daniil managed to show excellent tennis and win 6:4, 6:4, 6:4, but then the Serb defeated him in four matches in a row (although in one of them he was denied before the decisive match). ). Medvedev only took revenge in the semifinals of Dubai-2023. At the same time, Djokovic is now traveling to New York after winning the title in Cincinnati after the epic final with Alcaraz, to whom he had already lost the equally epic Wimbledon final, and Novak’s network is as favorable as possible. It’s definitely not worth expecting him to give in to someone before the final, unless there is some kind of force majeure. So if Daniil makes it to the final, surely the legendary Serb will be waiting for him there.

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The US Open – 2023 will be held in New York from August 28 to September 10. Follow our broadcasts online.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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