World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev continued his preparations for defending his US Open title with a 7-6 (7/0), 6-1 victory over Miomir Kechmanovic in the ATP hard court tournament in Los Cabos, Mexico on Friday .
He booked a title fight with defending champion and third seed Cameron Norrie, who beat Canadian second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
Having reached Saturday’s final, his fourth this year, the top seeded Medvedev is confident he will take first place in his Flushing Meadows title defense later this month.
World No. 38 and fourth seed, Kechmanovic got off to a good start against Medvedev, who is playing his first tournament since losing the quarter-finals in Mallorca in June.
The Serbian, having played his third semi-final this year, took a 4-1 lead, but Medvedev found his range and ruthlessly fought back from the back line.
He pulled back the break and in a tie-break beat an upset Kechmanovich, who couldn’t find an answer as Medvedev took a 3-0 lead in the second set on his way to victory.
“A very tough match,” Medvedev said in an on-court interview. “He got off to a great start and the whole first set was great. So many difficult moments, so many moments where I felt I was close to getting the advantage.”
“The tie-break was great.”
Friday’s action marked the first time since Cincinnati last year that the top four seeds made it to the semi-finals of an ATP tournament.
Britain’s Norrie saved a couple of break points in the final game with his first victory over Auger-Aliassime in five attempts and admitted that previous losses weighed him down.
“Felix caught me the last four times, so I really wanted to win that one,” said Norrie, who withstood 17 aces from the Canadian.
“I used to have match points, so I thought about it in the back of my mind.
“It’s never easy,” added the Wimbledon semi-finalist, who swam long from the right on his first match point and then had to fend off a break point before he could celebrate a return to the Los Cabos final when Auger-Aliassime shot wide on his second match point.