Medvedev hopes third time charmed in Grand Slam finals

·3 min read
Russia's Daniil Medvedev hopes his third time in a Grand Slam final is charmed when he plays in Sunday's US Open final after having lost two prior Slam finals (AFP/Kena Betancur)

Daniil Medvedev is getting tired of losing Grand Slam finals after dropping a pair and he's hoping the third time is charmed when he plays in Sunday's US Open final.

The 25-year-old Russian advanced to his second final on the New York hardcourts in three years on Friday by defeating Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.

Medvedev dropped the 2019 US Open final to Rafael Nadal and lost February's Australian Open final to world number one Novak Djokovic -- the man he'll face on Sunday.

"The more you lose something, the more you want to win it, the more you want to gain it and take it," Medvedev said.

"I lost two finals. I want to win the third one. You never know what's going to happen, but I'm going to try more than I did the first two times."

Medvedev has dropped only one set in the Flushing Meadows fortnight, saving him valuable energy for the grind to come against Djokovic, who is chasing the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Rod Laver won all four majors in 1952.

"It was definitely smooth," Medvedev said. "You know how Grand Slams are: even if you get to the final without losing a set, all the matches going to be tough in their own way.

"There were some tight moments. There were some tight battles. It's never easy, but I'm happy that I managed to save a lot of physical abilities, physical power, and mental power.

"For sure, I don't think anybody is capable of winning Slam after playing first three rounds five sets. I doubt this ever happened. So this is important. I'm really happy I managed to make it kind of fast."

Medvedev has spent 11 hours and 51 minutes on court in his six triumphs.

It's a far different feeling from 2019, when he was simply happy to be in his first Slam.

"For me experience is a key," Medvedev said. "First one, playing against Rafa, I was kind of the underdog. I was already happy being in the final. It was first great breakthrough.

"Everything was a positive, which helped me to play good. I was not feeling like it's a must to win."

Medvedev also had odd situations in that run.

"It made it crazy, this 2019," he said. "I was cramping, couldn't almost walk in my second-round match. I managed to win it.

"There were some crazy matches, some crazy turnarounds. I remember playing against (Swiss Stan) Wawrinka, I tore my quadriceps. We did an echo after, and there was a one-centimeter tear. I managed to win the match. I had two days off, so I managed to heal it. It was unbelievable stories all around.

"This year I didn't have the stories, and that's a good thing. I have the experience of two finals of Slams that can help me.

"The only thing I can say is all what I have left, I'm going to throw it out on Sunday."

js/bb