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Djokovic gets a retirement from Medvedev, will face Tsitsipas in Astana final

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns a ball to Daniil Medvedev of Russia during their men’s singles semi-final match at the Astana Open tennis tournament in Astana on October 8, 2022. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev were locked in one of their typically grueling battles. And then all of a sudden it was over.

Medvedev retired from their semifinal match at the Astana Open on Saturday afternoon after losing the second set in a tense tiebreaker. Following a 6-4 opening frame of play in Medvedev’s favor, Djokovic took the second 7-6(6)–at which point the second seed called it quits. Medvedev cited a leg injury, which appeared to start giving him problems in the ‘breaker.

“I really hope that his injury is nothing too serious,” Djokovic commented. “I know Daniil; he’s a great guy, he’s a fighter, he’s a big competitor. He wouldn’t retire (from) a match if he didn’t feel that he [could] continue or (if it wouldn’t) worsen his injury. He told me that he pulled an adductor muscle in his leg.

“It was such a close match, particularly 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; I found a way to win the second. But I’m just sad for the tournament and for these people who were enjoying the battle, and for Daniil that it had to end this way.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

The 35-year-old will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title on Sunday. Tsitsipas overcame Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday’s first semifinal.

Djokovic and Tsitsipas will be squaring off for the 10th time in their careers. The head-to-head series stands at 7-2 in favor of Djokovic, who has won six in a row against Tsitsipas and dominated their only previous indoor encounter 6-1, 6-2 at the 2019 Paris Masters. Tsitsipas booked his spot in the title match by beating Mikhail Kukushkin, Luca Nardi, and Hubert Hurkacz prior to his success against Rublev.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.