Medvedev stuns Djokovic to reach Monte Carlo semis
Daniil Medvedev delivered the biggest win of his career on Friday when he dispatched top-seeded Novak Djokovic to advance to the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters at Monaco.
The 10th-seeded Medvedev broke the Serbian's serve five times during the stunning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory in two hours, 20 minutes on the clay of Court Rainier III. It marked the first time the Russian has defeated a World No. 1 player.
"It's definitely the best match of my career. Not in terms of level of tennis, but definitely by the result," Medvedev said after the match. "(Reaching my) first Masters 1000 semifinal, beating No. 1 for the first time in my life. Just amazing."
Djokovic appeared destined to face Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final before that highly anticipated possible matchup was shattered by Medvedev's play.
The 23-year-old Russian had lost his three previous career meetings against Djokovic but gained confidence with his first-set play and impressed Djokovic with his improvement.
"He's got a very solid backhand," Djokovic said afterward. "He doesn't make many mistakes from the backhand. He hits it very low with depth. A windy day like today, conditions are changing every single game. It's kind of tough to find the rhythm, and he doesn't give you much rhythm.
"He improved his movement a lot since last year. He definitely deserves to be where he is."
Medvedev will face Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the semifinals.
Lajovic defeated Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5 in one hour, 47 minutes in his quarterfinal match.
"Right now it's a relief and I showed to myself that I could do it," Lajovic said after his win. "The tournament is still not over but I'm extremely happy and satisfied with the way I've played this week.
"To be in the semifinals of a Masters (1000), such a strong tournament, it's really a big boost of confidence and I hope that it's not the only one for the future."
Lajovic's win over Sonego came one day after he scored his biggest career victory by upsetting World No. 5 Dominic Thiem.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded Nadal advanced to the semifinals with a 7-6 (1), 6-3 triumph over Argentina's Guido Pella.
Nadal, who is seeking his 12th Monte Carlo title, needed two hours and 20 minutes to finish off Pella. He dug himself a hole in the first set but recovered to win in a tiebreaker.
"It was a very tough first set physically and mentally, too. Losing the first three games with my serve was tough but I found a way at the right time," Nadal said after his win. "I was lucky at 4-1, he had two points to be 5-1 and with 5-1 it's almost impossible. I was lucky to escape that moment and then I played better. ...
"I'm very happy to be through. Being in the semifinals again here means a lot to me."
Nadal will face 13th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini, who notched a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over ninth-seeded Borna Coric of Croatia in the quarterfinals.
Fognini converted his third match point to end the match in one hour, 59 minutes.
--Field Level Media
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