Novak Djokovic stunned by Daniil Medvedev’s shock withdrawal in Astana Open semi-finals


Novak Djokovic survived a second-set tiebreaker in the Astana Open semi-finals shortly after his opponent Daniil Medvedev retired with a leg injury on Sunday morning.

Djokovic advanced at 4-6, 7-6 (6). He will face third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

“I really hope his injury isn’t too serious,” Djokovic said. “I know Daniil, he’s a great guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a great competitor… He told me he pulled an adductor muscle in his leg.

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“It was such a close game, especially 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 those people who were enjoying the battle, and for Daniil that it had to end this way.

Novak Djokovic was in disbelief like those watching when Daniil Medvedev abruptly retired (Twitter)

Going into the match, Medvedev had a 4-6 win-loss record against Djokovic, and they hadn’t met since last November in the Paris final, where Djokovic won in straight sets.

In the other semi, Tsitsipas rallied to beat fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Rublev won the first set after saving three break points. Tsitsipas broke in the 10th game of the second to level the set score. The more the match progressed, the more aggressive he was and much more decisive than Rublev in the decisive match.

“My mentality kind of changed,” Tsitsipas said. “I played with a more aggressive style of play and didn’t get anything by chance.

“I was mindful of every decision I was trying to follow and execute and those service games worked out pretty well. They kept me in the game and gave me that hope.”

He will aim for his third title of the year, after Monte-Carlo and Mallorca, in his sixth final of the season.

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