Cincinnati Open: Tsitsipas edges Medvedev, to meet Coric in final

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after defeating Daniil Medvedev. Photo: USA TODAY Sports/Reuters/Susan Mullane

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas edged world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3 in an absorbing semifinal at the Cincinnati Open on Saturday to set up a summit clash with Borna Coric after the Croatian's 6-3, 6-4 win over Cameron Norrie.

Tsitsipas saved a set point in the opening tie-break to take the lead but collapsed in stunning fashion in the second set, falling behind 5-0 before narrowly avoiding a bagel.

But the Greek, who had just two wins in nine matches against Medvedev coming into the encounter, raised his game in the decider and broke the US Open champion at 3-2 before comfortably serving out the match with some exquisite net play.

"I felt like the ball wasn't really flying off his racquet," Tsitsipas, who later withdrew from the doubles semifinals alongside Holger Rune, told reporters.

"I felt like he was trying too hard, and that's when I knew that I pushed him there, and it was something that I did over many consecutive rallies, a lot of physical effort. I knew that was my opportunity to go and strike."

Sunday will be Tsitsipas' first final appearance in Cincinnati and his fifth overall in 2022.

"I'm prepared for it," said the former Roland Garros finalist. "I know it's not an easy task playing against him. You know, he's coming back from an injury, he's playing great tennis, and he's going to work very hard for it."

Coric reached his second ATP Masters 1000 final - and first since undergoing shoulder surgery last year - with a commanding performance against Norrie, who offered little resistance against his opponent's heavy hitting from the baseline.

British ninth seed Norrie started brightly and raced into a 3-1 lead before Coric found his groove to win five straight games and secure the opening set.

"It was a very tough day, a very long day as well," said Coric after both men's semifinals were delayed due to rain.

"At the beginning I was not there, I was not feeling the ball very well. Then I did find my rhythm. I started to serve better, I started to play much better and I think that was the key to the match."

Coric, who struck 22 winners in all, kept up the momentum in the second set, clinching eight straight points to take a 4-2 lead before closing out the match to set up a third career meeting with Tsitsipas.

Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova reacts after winning a point against Madison Keys. Photo: USA TODAY Sports/Reuters/Susan Mullane

Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova overcame a sluggish start and 10 double faults to beat Madison Keys 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3 and advance to the women's singles final, where she will face Caroline Garcia, the first qualifier to reach the final of a WTA 1000 tournament.

In a match twice hit by lengthy rain delays, Garcia was able to keep her focus to see off sixth-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

After battling her way through qualifying, the resurgent Frenchwoman has notched up wins over three top 10 world-ranked opponents, Maria Sakkari (4), Sabalenka (7) and Jessica Pegula (8).

In the day's first match on a muggy Centre Court, a misfiring Kvitova had trouble getting into gear. But she produced some of her best tennis when it mattered by breaking the American favourite to start the third set and again to clinch a spot in Sunday's final.

It will mark the 40th WTA Tour singles final for the 32-year-old Czech but first in Cincinnati.

"I expected it to be tough but I didn't expect it to be that tough," said Kvitova, who will return to the top 20 of the world rankings on Monday. "I don't really care about the ranking."

"Being in the final is of course more important, that is why I play tennis to be in the final and fight for the trophy."

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