Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev were locked in one of their typically grueling battles. And then all of a sudden it was over.
Medvedev retired from their semifinal match at the Astana Open on Saturday afternoon after losing the second set in a tense tiebreaker. Following a 6-4 opening frame of play in Medvedev’s favor, Djokovic took the second 7-6(6)–at which point the second seed called it quits. Medvedev cited a leg injury, which appeared to start giving him problems in the ‘breaker.
“I really hope that his injury is nothing too serious,” Djokovic commented. “I know Daniil; he’s a great guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a big competitor. He wouldn’t retire a match if he didn’t feel that he [could] continue or (if it wouldn’t) worsen his injury. He told me that he pulled an adductor muscle in his leg.
“It was such a close match, particularly in the second set. I would probably say he was a better player on the court in both sets. I was fighting and trying to find a way; I found a way to win the second. But I’m just sad for the tournament and for these people who were enjoying the battle, and for Daniil that it had to end this way.”
The 35-year-old will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title on Sunday. Tsitsipas overcame Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday’s first semifinal.
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