Watch: Medvedev Comeback Propels Him Into Sydney Final
Qualifier to challenge teenager de Minaur for crown
New year, another great start for Daniil Medvedev. In a show of resilient strength, and maturity, the Russian qualifier completed his sixth victory of the week on Friday at the Sydney International to reach his second ATP World Tour final.
The 21-year-old Medvedev clawed his way back from a set and 1-3 deficit to beat the talented Italian Fabio Fognini, the fourth seed, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 52 minutes.
“Until 6-2, 3-1, Fabio was playing unbelievable,” said Medvedev. “I felt that I didn't play my best tennis. So then, suddenly, it started to turn around step-by-step, and then, finally, I almost didn't lose a game. I'm really happy, because it was a tough battle there.”
Twelve months on from contesting his first final in Chennai (l. to Bautista Agut), Medvedev now plays 18-year-old local Alex de Minaur. Sydney has been kind to qualifiers through the years with Hyung-Taik Lee (2003), Jarkko Nieminen (2012) and Viktor Troicki (2015) winning the title.
Medvedev remembers coming across his opponent on Saturday, de Minaur, at a Tecnifibre training camp a few years ago.
"I don't know so much about him, but I saw him play in some tournaments and I knew already before that he's going be a great player," said Medvedev. "I remember he was playing with Technifibre before and we had a camp where I played like some tie-breaks with him. He was, like, 15. I said, 'Wow, this guy plays so good.' Because he beat me — it was only me serving. I was, like, 'Wow, this guy is amazing. He is going to be good.'
"And he's becoming good now. I wish him all the best. It's nice to see some young guys coming up."