Daniil Medvedev beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4 to become the first player from Russia to win a Grand Slam title on Saturday.
The third-seeded Medvedev advanced to his first Grand Slam final with a fine backhand down the line winner on match point at Arthur Ashe Stadium, lifting his big, booming serve to unleash a powerful serve to the chest of his Serbian opponent, who could not put his backhand back into play.
Medvedev held off Djokovic in a fourth-set tiebreaker to win the best-of-five match in 2 hours, 28 minutes.
Djokovic, the 2015 champion, had lost only nine games in his three previous matches in the U.S. Open semifinals. But the five-time major champion failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the third set, and the 23-year-old Medvedev nearly served out the match as well, leading 5-4 in the tiebreaker before giving the game back.
Medvedev will get a month-long rest, with no other Grand Slam matches until he competes at Wimbledon next month. That match — if he’s able to recover from a sore left leg — will be played at about the same time top-ranked Rafael Nadal will also be playing.
Earlier, Venus Williams lost her bid for a sixth U.S. Open title, a 10th major championship and 1,000th victory in women’s tennis, as Carla Suarez Navarro broke her in the ninth game of the third set to win the third-round match.
The 40th-ranked Suarez Navarro will next face Sloane Stephens, who edged fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in an all-American women’s quarterfinal.
The other quarterfinal features France’s Kristina Mladenovic against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
With her victory over Williams, Suarez Navarro will go back to No. 2 in the rankings when they are updated Monday.
Williams has won 14 Grand Slam titles, but none since the 2008 Australian Open. She is seeded 24th this year, just the seventh time in her career she has not been the No. 1 seed at a major tournament.