Novak Djokovic, who reached the final of the Astana Open after the retirement of Daniil Medvedev, suffered a semi-final injury after losing in the second set. tennis news

Novak Djokovic booked his place in the final of the Astana Open in Kazakhstan, where he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas after Daniil Medvedev suffered a 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) injury at the semi-final level.

After winning the first set 6-4, Russia’s Medvedev scored match point in the second set, but lost to Djokovic in a tie-break.

Medvedev surprisingly retired with injury before the start of the third set, allowing Djokovic to reach the final.

“He [Medvedev] Told me he pulled a jointer in his leg,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview.

“I know Daniel, he’s a great guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a great competitor. He won’t retire a match if he doesn’t think he can.” [could] continue or [if it wouldn’t] make his injury worse.

“It was such a close match, 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 out.

“I found a way to win second, but I’m sad for the tournament and for the people who were enjoying the fight, and for Daniels it had to end like this.”

Djokovic will now be aiming for a consecutive title win in Sunday’s final against Tsitsipas, who was a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 winner against Andre Rublev. The Serbian, who secured his 89th Tour-level crown in Tel Aviv last week, beat Tsitsipas 7-2 in his ATP head-to-heads.

“This is the second time in my life that I have retired like this with a pulled muscle,” Medvedev explained. “So here, at the second point of the tie-break, I felt a little weird pop in my adder. I thought at first maybe it was a cramp and point after point I was like: ‘No, maybe not a cramp.’

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“And during the tie-break, I thought I could play like five, 10 more points, but that’s all. If I play one more set, you can do it, but you can probably do it for a month instead. Half a year can be missed.”

The fight between the second and fourth seeds saw three consecutive breaks of serve in the first set, two of which were from Medvedev, who converted only his two break opportunities. Serving 5-4, he ran 40/0 and took the set on his second chance.

There was no break of serve in the second set and hence it came to a tie-break. Medvedev won the first point, then Djokovic hit a drop shot on four consecutive points – and won them all. Eventually, he won the tie-break on another drop shot when Medvedev’s forehand lob went long.

The match was Djokovic and Medvedev’s first meeting of 2022 – and only the second event after Roland Garros where they were in the same draw.

It was also Djokovic’s first match against a top 10 player on hard courts since the 2021 Nieto ATP Finals, where he lost to Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Medvedev wanted his first indoor hard-court final since the same event.