The 27-year-old Russian, unbeaten for 19 matches, will try to win a fourth tournament in a row after Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai on Sunday against Spain's Carlos Alcaraz (2nd) or Italy's Jannik Sinner (13th).

Against Tiafoe, who was playing his first semifinal of a tournament of this category just below the Grand Slams, Medvedev was extremely consistent and most often impassable. And by dint of sending everything back, he often pushed his opponent, particularly feverish backhand.

The Russian took his time in the first set, breaking at 6-5, after failing on three first opportunities at 2-2. At that point, Tiafoe landed a few uncrossed forehands and inspired volleys, celebrating his beautiful gestures, as he often does, rubbing his thumb and forefinger against each other, like a chef sprinkling spices on his dish.

Not enough to upset Medvedev, who gave up only three points from his six service games in this set.

The winner at Flushing Meadows in 2021 then broke away in the next, breaking right from the start, thanks to a curled pass, which had enough effect to bite the line.

Tiafoe, who had aroused the enthusiasm of New York fans by reaching the last four at the US Open last year, still turned back. After an abortive opportunity to break at 3-2, he made it 5-4, after a double fault from the Russian.

Medvedev, who had, in the meantime, missed three match balls, got a little angry... to better resume the service of the American. But four more chances to finish on his serve were not enough and he was pushed to the tie-break.

A decisive game that he mastered, managing to conclude on his 8th match ball with a winning serve in 1:46, his fifth victory in as many confrontations with the American.

Solid in his tennis, Medvedev also seemed in full possession of his means, after twisting his right ankle, in the 8th final, before toppling the German Alexander Zverev in more than three hours of intense struggle. He also cut his right thumb in the quarters, which did not prevent him from overpowering Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich.

© 2023 AFP