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By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, October 7, 2022


The first meeting of the year between former world No. 1 players Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic comes with a trip to the Astana final on the line.

Photo credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation/Astana Open

Daniil Medvedev played mixed master in Astana today.

Tomorrow, Medvedev will mix it up with Novak Djokovic in a battle of former top-ranked champions.

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The second-seeded Medvedev rolled through six straight games rocking Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-1 in today's final quarterfinal.

The fourth-ranked Medvedev hammered heavy strikes into the corners raising his 2022 record to 40-14. This marks the fourth time Medvedev has won 40 or more matches in a single season following 40-plus win seasons in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

“I am happy to play the right game, to be really solid and to do everything I can to make his life difficult and I am really happy to beat him,” Medvedev said. “I tried to mix it up as it is not easy to play against Roberto. I tried to mix it up and surprise him a little bit and it worked very well."

Earlier, Djokovic converted three of five break points maintaining his mastery of Karen Khachanov with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

It was Djokovic's seventh win over the 18th-ranked Russian in eight career meetings. The seven-time Wimbledon winner advanced to his sixth semifinal of the season.

Khachanov, whose lone win over Djokovic came in the 2018 Rolex Paris Masters final, suffered his 20th consecutive loss to a Top 20-ranked opponent.

The Djokovic-Medvedev match is a rematch of the 2021 US Open final that saw the Russian deny Djokovic's quest to complete the calendar Grand Slam with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 sweep.

In their last meeting, Djokovic flipped the tactical script going all in on the attack to top Medvedev in Paris last November.

Showing his all-court skills, Djokovic deployed the serve-and-volley masterfully dethroning defending champion Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to capture his sixth Rolex Paris Masters championship and record 37th Masters 1000 crown.

Tennis Express

Medvedev says he's pumped for his first meeting of the year against the 35-year-old Serbian superstar.

“I am really happy to play against Novak,” Medvedev said. “I thought about it before the match and we have only played one tournament together this year, which was Roland Garros. This is the second one and we meet again and I am really happy.”

Though world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz was upset by David Goffin in his Astana opener, three of the top four seeds advanced to the final four.

No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas won 38 of 44 first-serve points defeating seventh-seeded Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 6-3. Tsitsipas will play Andrey Rublev for a spot in Sunday's final.

The fifth-seeded Rublev converted four of five break points crushing Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-2 in 55 minutes. 


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