Day six sees the men's semi-finals take place, after play was delayed yesterday. Dan Weston previews the Khachanov v Medvedev clash...
"This is evidenced by some stunning 2019 hard court numbers. Medvedev's won 70.1% of service points and 39.5% on return (109.6% combined) and this isn't far from elite level."
Nadal awaits semi-final opponent
Play was suspended last night in Canada with our pick yesterday, Gael Monfils 0-30 up on return against Roberto Bautista-Agut in the opening game of their quarter-final. The winner will face Rafa Nadal later tonight, and it goes without saying that beating Nadal is a difficult enough proposition without having to play almost a full match prior to facing the Spaniard as well.
Nadal, despite losing the first set, eventually eased past Fabio Fognini in three sets, while there were also wins for Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov, who now face each other in the only known semi-final at the time of writing.
Medvedev showing real improvement in 2019
Medvedev has looked extremely impressive in recent weeks and Dominic Thiem didn't have any answers against the Russian, winning just four games in two sets, and Medvedev is now realising the potential which I identified several years ago.
This is evidenced by some stunning 2019 hard court numbers. Medvedev's won 70.1% of service points and 39.5% on return (109.6% combined) and this isn't far from elite level - if we base our opinion on those figures, there's now a decent case to be made for him being the fourth best (apart from the elite three) hard courter on main tour right now.
Khachanov affected by poor tiebreak record
12 month data isn't quite as impressive though, and would make his [1.52] market price a little short, and as I've said before, Khachanov's solid but unspectacular win percentage this year has been affected by losing an absurd amount of tiebreaks (he's won around a third of tiebreaks in the last 12 months and a similar percentage this season).
However, with a young player such as Medvedev, I'm more minded to take into account more recent data - I'm less keen to do so for a well-exposed player of peak age, for example - so I do feel that we need to respect these 2019 numbers. With this in mind, it's difficult to disagree hugely with market lines and Medvedev looks justified as favourite to likely meet Nadal in tomorrow's final.
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