Veteran Simon beats ailing Medvedev to reach Queen's final
London (AFP) –
Gilles Simon is one victory away from becoming the first French winner of Queen's after coming from a set down to beat a struggling Daniil Medvedev 6-7 (4/7) 6-4, 6-3 in their semi-final on Saturday.
The 34-year-old veteran showed little sign of having played the longest match at Queen's since 1991, a marathon of over three hours in Friday's quarter-final with compatriot Nicolas Mahut.
Fourth seed Medvedev's cause was not helped by a painful right shoulder and lower in lower left back, which he was constantly rubbing.
Simon will bid to go one better than the last Frenchman to appear in a Queen's final -- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga -- who lost to Andy Murray in 2011.
He will face either Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime or 2017 champion Feliciano Lopez on Sunday.
Russian Medvedev raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set tie-break and won 7-4 by putting away a Simon drop shot.
In the second, Medvedev iced his right shoulder during a changeover with Simon leading 5-4.
The Frenchman then broke with some superb tennis to level the match.
Medvedev put Simon's second serve under pressure early in the deciding set and had break points in the first two games but the Frenchman saved both, the second after a remarkable 49-shot rally.
The Russian then began feeling the lower part of his back and remonstrating with his team in the crowd.
Simon was playing some sparkling tennis, regardless of Medvedev's travails, and producing a sublime cross-court forehand to bring up two break points, leaving Medvedev on the ground and clambering gingerly to his feet.
Simon, though, could not take advantage and Medvedev fought back to level at 2-2.
However, the Frenchman made no mistake the next time he had a break point, moving to a 5-3 lead before serving out the match.
? 2019 AFP