Daniil Medvedev will arrive in New York for his U.S. Open title defence this month as the top seed after the Russian confirmed his stay as world number one by reaching the final in Los Cabos, Mexico on Friday.
A ban on Russian players at Wimbledon due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine forced Medvedev to miss the grasscourt major and he arrived in Mexico for the ATP 250 event with his top ranking under threat.
But the 26-year-old’s 7-6(0) 6-1 victory against Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in the semi-finals guaranteed his second stint at the helm of the men’s rankings at least until the hardcourt major at Flushing Meadows.
“Very tough match,” Medvedev said on court. “He started great and all the first set was a great level. So many tough points, so many points where I felt like I was close to getting the edge.
“The tie-break was great.”
Medvedev will be aiming to lift his first title of the year on Saturday in his fourth final of the 2022 season.
After going down to Rafa Nadal in the final of the Australian Open at the start of the year, Medvedev also lost championship matches on grass in the Netherlands and Germany.
His opponent on Saturday will be Britain’s 12th-ranked Cameron Norrie, the reigning champion in Los Cabos, who defeated Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the other semi-final.