NEW YORK (Reuters) -Daniil Medvedev dominated Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 7-5 6-2 on Friday, reaching the U.S. Open final courtesy of a dozen aces in just a little over two hours.
The 2019 runner-up looked rock-solid at the start, firing off seven aces and never facing a break point in the first set, where he had just five unforced errors and broke Auger-Aliassime’s serve in straight points in the seventh game.
Down a break in the next set, Medvedev looked like he might be in trouble but Auger-Aliassime twice failed to clinch on set point in the ninth game and Medvedev broke his serve.
A double fault from Auger-Aliassime in the 11th game – one of 10 across the entire match – helped Medvedev to another break before the Russian ran away with the momentum into the third set, where he dropped just one first-serve point.
The six foot, six inch Russian displayed excellent court coverage, firing off 37 winners compared to 17 from Auger-Aliassime across the entire match, with 25 unforced errors.
“Second set defined the match because I was really close to lose it,” Medvedev told reporters after his win. “It turned the match around. I think he started doubting.”
It was the first Grand Slam semi-final for 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals earlier this year and has been hailed among the sport’s brightest young stars.
“Against a player like that, you don’t really have room for mistakes, room for losing your focus, which I did at the end of the second,” Auger-Aliassime told reporters.
Medvedev, the world number two, continues his hunt for a maiden major title after losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final this year.
After picking up his fourth Masters 1000 title in Toronto last month, he has dropped just one set through six rounds at Flushing Meadows and is looking to lift the trophy for the first time after losing in five sets to Rafa Nadal two years ago.
“Last time was a crazy match,” said Medvedev. “If it’s going to be the same match on Sunday, I just hope I can win this time.”
He awaits the winner of the other semifinal between Djokovic, who is gunning for his record 21st Grand Slam title, and German Alexander Zverev.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Additional reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Edwina Gibbs)