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Medvedev, Tsitsipas advance to semi-final showdown in Cincinnati

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have advanced to a semi-final showdown after both dismissed American opponents at the ATP and WTA Cincinnati Masters.

Top seed Medvedev fired 18 aces among 30 winners in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 defeat of Taylor Fritz in their Friday quarter-final.

Tsitsipas, semi-finalist at the last two editions, weathered a brief first-set rain interruption on the way to his 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 6-3, defeat of John Isner, playing here for the 15th time at age 37 and the oldest quarter-finalist since 1969.

The Greek fourth seed won the opening set in a tiebreaker but found himself level at a set each after Isner slammed down an overhead to break in the penultimate game and served to square the match a game later.

In the third, Tsitsipas secured a break for 4-3 as Isner went wide; the seed sent over a service winner on his first match point to advance after more than two and a quarter hours despite 18 Isner aces.

“It’s never easy to play him, due to all his variations of play,” Tsitsipas said. “The most important thing is to stay patient.

“The match came down to a few points. I was able to hang in there and make one more ball – he didn’t give me a lot to work with.”

Tsitsipas added: “Against Medvedev, I need to be concentrated and approach my game in a precise manner.

“I will let my tennis do the talking.”

Medvedev, the 2019 tournament winner, strengthened his grip on the world number one ranking at the last major tune-up prior to the US Open, earning his victory over 11th seed Fritz in one hour, 40 minutes.

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“The second set was much better than the first,” Medvedev said. “Taylor is a great player, from the baseline he didn’t give you much space.

“He was hitting the ball strong, making a lot of good points.

“But I’m happy with my level. If I can continue play this way and raise my level during matches I can beat anybody,” added Medvedev, who leads semi-final opponent Tsitsipas 7-2 in head-to-head meetings.

Keys downs Rybakina 

In the women’s quarter-finals, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina saved three match points before falling 6-2, 6-4 to Madison Keys.

The Kazakh, who lifted the All England Club trophy last month against the odds, exited the pre-US Open event in 92 minutes as she went down to the American titleholder from 2019.

The pair struggled through a 21-point, 12-minute opening game, with Keys then turning on her jets to win the second in just over a minute.

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Keys also came from a breakdown in the second set to carve out the victory.

Rybakina, who stands 4-3 since Wimbledon, was broken five times and managed only 11 winners. Keys struck 21 winners and 16 unforced errors.

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