World number one Novak Djokovic suffered a major blow as he crashed out of the ongoing Western & Southern Open after slumping to defeat at the hands of Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final clash of the tournament in Cincinnati on Sunday.
After comfortably winning the opening set, the Serbian tennis maestro failed to capitalize on the same and went down fighting 6-3, 3-6, 3-6 against Medvedev in a thrilling last-four clash of the men's singles event that lasted one hour and 42 minutes.
Medvedev was trailing defending champion Djokovic by 6-3, 3-2 30/40 when he made a furious comeback, varying his pace and angles on serve and not allowing the top-seed to establish any rythm, to book his place in the summit showdown.
Following the clash, Djokovic was full of praise for his opponent as he described Medvedev as "one of the best players in the world".
"He's working his way to the Top 5 [in the ATP Ranking]. He's definitely one of the best players in the world... He certainly improved since Australian Open this year. His forehand is better. His movement is better. I mean, his serve was always big. I did not experience this too many times in my career that someone goes so big on second serves and just serves two first serves basically for an extended period of time, the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP) quoted the world number one as saying.
With the win, the Russian has stormed into his second ATP Masters 1000 final in as many weeks and third straight tour-level final following appearances at the Citi Open and the Rogers Cup. He will now lock horns with David Goffin of Belgium in the final of the Cincinnati Open.
Djokovic, on the other hand, will now shift his focus to the US Open where he will enter as the three-time champion and look to seal his 17th Grand Slam title.