US Open Men's final predictions: Medvedev could spring another surprise
It may not be the final everyone was hoping for, but Daniil Medvedev was well worth his semi-final victory over Carlos Alcaraz and the Russian will be hoping to spring another surprise on 23-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic
Medvedev upset the odds with a 7-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory over the reigning US Open champion and the manner of his performance suggests Djokovic may want to be on his guard.
The Russian third seed claimed the only Grand Slam title of his career at the US Open in 2021, and that success came at Djokovic’s expense.
Medvedev triumphed in straight sets against Djokovic two years ago and the super Serb, who has won the Australian Open and the French equivalent this season, will be keen to make amends.
Djokovic leads his personal series with Medvedev 9-5, but the latest encounter in Dubai in March went the Russian’s way with him winning 6-4 6-4.
Medvedev has won at least a set in his last six meetings with Djokovic, which includes silencing the Serb in the 2021 US Open final.
Djokovic has won each of his last 11 matches and five of his six US Open assignments have seen him triumph in straight sets.
However, the Serbian world number two has played only one player ranked inside the world’s top 30 at this year’s US Open.
Medvedev, meanwhile, has dropped only three sets on his way to a third US Open final.
The Russian world number three is the true definition of a hard-court specialist and has picked up 18 of his 20 titles on the faster surface.
Medvedev has served 60 aces across his six US Open assignments while Djokovic has managed 47.
With Alcaraz out, many are expecting Djokovic to stroll to the title in New York and, in the process, secure a record-extending 24th Grand Slam title.
But as Medvedev showed in his four-set win over Alcaraz in the semi-final, write him off at your peril as the Arthur Ashe Stadium truly does bring out the best in him.
The Russian played with so much intensity throughout his victory over the Spanish sensation, producing arguably a career-best performance, but he knows another one will be required if he is to down-tool Djokovic.
However, Medvedev knows he can defeat the great Serb, who he outclassed in straight sets to win his maiden Grand Slam title in New York two years ago.
The world number three also triumphed in his latest meeting with Djokovic, overcoming the 36-year-old in a 6-4 6-4 win to make the final in Dubai in March.
Djokovic is a worthy favourite and it would be no surprise to see him add yet another piece of silverware to his growing list of Majors.
But Taylor Fritz, a player he has a mental hold over, is the only player ranked inside the world’s top 30 that he has had to play on his run to the final.
In round three, the Serbian was forced to come from two sets down against Laslo Djere and it would be pushed to say he is performing at the absolute peak of his powers.
With that in mind, there is value in siding with hard-court specialist Medvedev, who is appearing in his third US Open final.
Medvedev’s last three US Open wins have come against genuine top-14 performers and he is worth siding with in this encounter.