Russia’s Daniil Medvedev extended his remarkable winning streak to 20 matches as he blasted past Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in their Australian Open semifinal in Melbourne.
Fourth seed Medvedev had too much power and guile for his Greek rival, winning 6-4 6-2 7-5 on Rod Laver Arena to set up a meeting with eight-time champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.
Medvedev, 25, is chasing a maiden Grand Slam title and will be appearing in a final at a Major for the second time. He becomes the first Russian man to contest the final in Melbourne since Marat Safin won the title back in 2005.
Medvedev reached Sunday’s showpiece in brilliantly ruthless style, swatting aside the challenge from the 22-year-old Tsitsipas with a display of dominant serving and some spectacular groundstrokes.
After a high-quality opening to the first set, Medvedev secured a break in game five when Tsitsipas sent a groundstroke long.
That was a sign of things to come as the 6ft 6in Russian wrested control of the match and rarely looked like relenting.
Fifth seed Tsitsipas staved off three set points but Medvedev did not squander a fourth chance, sending down another monster serve to seal the opening set in 39 minutes.
Into the second set, Medvedev broke his rival in game three, prompting a flash of anger from Tsitsipas as he slammed a water bottle to the floor between the change of ends.
However, that was not to be a wake-up call for the Greek as Medvedev secured another break of serve before seeing out the set.
Tsitsipas had battled back from a two-set disadvantage against Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, but this time around there was to be no way back against an inspired Medvedev.
Medvedev broke Tsitsipas at the first time of asking in the third set, although the Greek did belatedly show signs of putting up a fight when he broke back to level at 3-3 amid a spate of uncharacteristic errors from the Russian.
Medvedev seemed slightly unsettled by the setback, being forced to save break point on his next service game as Tsitsipas scrapped to keep himself in the match.
But at 5-5 Medvedev regained his form, breaking Tsitsipas with an inspired backhand shot down the line and then serving out the set and the match.
World number one Djokovic has famously never lost in eight appearances in an Australian Open final, and will be chasing an 18th Grand Slam title overall on Sunday.
In this form, however, Medvedev looks like offering a formidable challenge for the 33-year-old Serb and could be the man to stop his remarkable record in finals Down Under.