Australian Open 2021 Results: Friday Bracket Winners, Scores and Top Stats

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2021

Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacts after winning a point during his seminal match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Andy Brownbill/Associated Press

Fourth-ranked Daniil Medvedev will battle No. 1 Novak Djokovic for his first Australian Open championship following a straight-sets victory over No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 25-year-old took down Tsitsipas for his 20th straight win and his first Grand Slam finals appearance since 2019. It was a dominant performance in which he really only allowed his opponent to climb back into the match in the third set. The Greek had previously knocked off Rafael Nadal to get to the semifinals before his disappointing three-set sweep. 

Medvedev saw similarities to the Nadal match and sought quickly to shut them down.

"It was definitely not easy, because we saw the match with Rafa was kind of the same score after two sets," he said in his on-court interview after the win. "[In] the third set, Rafa was dominating but didn't manage to win the match, so I got a little bit scared and tight." 

He kept his cool, though, amassing 17 aces to Tsitsipas' three, a first-serve win percentage of 88 and 42 winning receiving points.

The win adds to an impressive feat over the course of the streak: Medvedev has defeated every one of the ATP Top 10, except for Roger Federer, who is currently not able to compete.

    

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Men's Score

No. 4 Daniil Medvedev def. No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5

     

Medvedev should know from experience that Djokovic is no walk in the park. He has battled the top-ranked competitor seven times and has a record of 3-4. However, he knocked off Djokovic last November in the ATP finals, so he has the most recent victory.

Even with that success, though, he must understand Djokovic's record in the Australian Open. The Serb has never lost in Melbourne when reaching the final, and he will look to continue that run of domination despite the challenge of a red-hot Russian and his own oblique injury.

Djokovic, almost daring Medvedev to take the crown from him, told Eurosport (h/t Metro's George Bellshawafter the Russian's win: "Pressure is always there, it's what we do. Everyone talks about the new generation coming and taking over us, but realistically that isn't happening still."

The 33-year-old continued: "We can talk about it all day, but with all my respect to the other guys, they still have a lot of work to do. I'm not going to stand here and hand it over to them. I'm going to make them work their ass off for that." 

Djokovic has laid down the gauntlet. It will be up to this "new generation" player Medvedev to knock him off a perch he has sat atop for years. If he can do it, he will etch the first blemish on Djoker's Aussie Open finals record while earning his first Grand Slam championship.

The stage is set. Now, it is up to Medvedev to rise to the occasion and prevent the old guard from claiming another title.