Russian star Daniil Medvedev took the win over exhausted Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second semi-final of the men’s draw tonight – and he rubbed in his dominance with mid-game theatrical antics.
The fourth seed could clearly sense that Tsitsipas was struggling following his epic five-set epic against legendary Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals on Wednesday night.
Stressed Tsitsipas smashes a water bottle
The 25-year-old therefore decided to taunt the Greek world No.6 ahead of the third set, prancing past Tsitsipas seated enthusiastically as the scoreboard read 6-4 6-2.
Medvedev’s tactics caught the attention of Nine tennis expert Sam Groth.
Medvedev wows commentators with wild pass
“He just ran past Tsitsipas, pumping his feet, pumping his legs,” Groth said.
“He can sense that he is tired. If that isn’t a sign that Medvedev is aware of how Tsitsipas is feeling, I don’t know what it is.”
Nine commentators Todd Woodbridge even called Medvedev’s antics a “physical sledge.”
Medvedev won the match 6-4 6-2 7-5 to advance to the Australian Open final, in which he will face Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic Sunday night.
Medvedev served exceptionally well tonight and it shows in the stats, with the 2019 US Open finalist having collected 17 aces and an 88 winning percentage on first serves. Tsitsipas only managed three aces and a winning percentage of just 61 on first serves.
Australian Open: Daniil Medvedev vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas said service was one of Medvedev’s main strengths.
“Let me tell you, he’s a player who has unlocked pretty much everything in the game,” Tsitsipas said in his post-match press conference.
“It’s like he’s reading the game very well.
“He has this incredible service that I would describe as close to John Isner’s service.
“And then he has an amazing baseline which makes it extremely difficult. So even if you return the serve you don’t guarantee that you’re going to win the point. You have to really work hard for that.”
Tsitsipas has no clear prediction for Sunday’s final between Medvedev and Djokovic.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniil win the tournament. But, you know, it’s a weird scenario,” Tsitsipas said.
“I played against Rafa (Nadal) here two years ago. I found his performance against me that day phenomenal. I was 100% sure he was going to win the tournament – and I ended up wrong.
“Who knows? I don’t know. Like, Djokovic is playing well too.
“Look, I’m not a betting site. I do not know what to say.
“Maybe Medvedev. It would be good for him, good for tennis.”
Djokovic, the most successful Australian Open singles champion in history, is set to win his ninth title, while Medvedev will be looking for his first Grand Slam tournament victory.