A resilient Daniil Medvedev stunned world No. 1 and title holder Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati Masters semifinals on Saturday.
The ninth-seeded Russian stepped up his game after losing the first set and took the victory 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“I was so tired in the first set and playing Novak, I thought I’m not going to be able to keep the intensity,” Medvedev said in a courtside interview with ESPN.
“Then there was one momentum change in the second, and I just started playing unbelievable.”
Medvedev, who also beat Djokovic in April at Monte Carlo, will play Belgian David Goffin in the final on Sunday.
The 16th-seeded Goffin beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
“I’m really happy,” said Goffin. “I’ve played the best tennis here in the past few years. ... It’s a great moment for me.”
A quick break saw Goffin surge to a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line in the first set.
Gasquet grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second set before Goffin claimed five of the next six games.
He won the set and the match when a Gasquet backhand was long.
Goffin had received a walkover into the semifinals after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw due to food poisoning.
“It was almost a day off, so I was fresh and physically 100% today to play against Richard,” the Belgian said.
Goffin added that he was “lost” after the walkover.
“I didn’t know what to do. Do I have another practice session, go to the physio and have some treatment? I didn’t know,” the Belgian said.
“I decided to go on the court for some practice and do what I normally do after.”