World No. 7 Andrey Rublev was in great spirits after finally clinching his first win over second-ranked Daniil Medvedev.
Rublev, seeded at No. 4, recovered from a set down to beat top-seeded Medvedev 2-6 6-3 6-3 in the Cincinnati Masters semifinal.
It was their fifth meeting on the ATP Tour and the fifth match that was played on the hard court.
Medvedev didn’t drop a set against Rublev in their first four meeting, and after the first set on Saturday in Cincinnati, it looked he would clinch his fifth consecutive straight-set win over Rublev.
”Even when I was 2-6 down, the score should not have been like this because the points were so tight,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “The match was so intense, so many long rallies, super tough, super physical, super mental. A lot like a chess match.
“Medvedev is one of those players who won’t give you a chance to attack, but if I have enough power and chose the right moment, I have to be the one to make him run. In the end, I was trying to find the perfect moment to start being more aggressive to open the angles.
“It gives me more confidence that I can compete against him. There are still so many things to improve, but It’s like you pass university and they give you a diploma.”
Rublev didn’t quit after losing the first set
Rublev was mightily struggling with his serve in the first as Medvedev claimed three breaks and lost his serve once en route to winning the opener.
In the second set, Rublev started serving much better as he broke Medvedev in the eighth game and saved two break points in the following game to force a decider.
Medvedev led 3-2 after the opening five games of the third set but Rublev then earned back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and complete a comeback win.