World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev marched into the final of the Vienna Open after downing Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2 in their semifinal clash, here on Saturday.
The 26-year-old came up against a confident opponent striking the ball cleanly but the top seed had all the answers. Just as it had against Jannik Sinner in Friday's quarterfinals, Medvedev's relentless retrieving and precise serving proved the difference as he charged to a 85-minute victory to reach the championship match in Vienna for the first time.
"It was a great match.There were a few moments in the match where I thought I should have done just a little bit better, to go in front earlier and try to build the pressure earlier. Then I managed to stay consistent and, in the most important points, managed to raise my level. That was enough today, and I'm really happy with my level," said Medvedev.
Dimitrov had hit his stride en route to the semifinals in Vienna, where he was particularly impressive in taking out third seed Andrey Rublev in the second round. Yet despite hitting 21 winners to Medvedev's 17, he could not penetrate the top seed's defences frequently enough to gain a strong foothold in the match.
As it had in his previous wins against Nikoloz Basilashvili, Dominic Thiem and Sinner this week in Vienna, Medvedev was dialled in on serve against Dimitrov. He won 87 per cent (27/31) of points behind his first delivery to improve his ATP head-to-head series record against the Bulgarian to 4-2.
"The serve is probably the most important shot in tennis. I was lacking it a little bit this season, I was making too many double faults, sometimes in important moments my serve could have been a little bit better," the Russian tennis player said.
"I was working a lot with my coach to try and find this rhythm (again), and so far I'm serving well here. I'm really happy about it and that's also why I'm playing so well," he added.
Medvedev, who is yet to drop his serve this week across four matches in Vienna, will face Denis Shapovalov or Borna Coric in Sunday's final as he chases his second tour-level title of the season.
The 14-time tour-level titlist is currently fifth in the ATP Live Race To Turin as he bids to qualify for November's ATP Finals for the fourth consecutive year.