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Daniil Medvedev defeats Karen Khachanov, advances to Miami Open final

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Daniil Medvedev hasn’t won a title in the U.S. since capturing the 2021 U.S. Open when he turned away Novak Djokovic’s bid for a Grand Slam.

Now the Miami Open’s No. 4 seed is one victory from a fresh American title, beating fellow Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 in the semifinals Friday, the same day Wimbledon announced Russians will be allowed back — with conditions.

The other men’s semifinal is Friday night between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannick Sinner. If Alcaraz wins, it’ll set up a rematch of the Indian Wells final; Alcaraz beat Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 on March 19.

Medvedev has won 23 of his last 24 matches — the lone loss to now-world No. 1 Alcaraz — and is in his fifth straight final.

Medvedev has been friends with the 14th-seeded Khachanov since childhood, and they’re each fierce baseliners, with one rally lasting 31 shots.

Medvedev needed a tiebreaker to win the first set, serving it out with the first of 13 aces in the match. Proving a little more consistent in the second set, Khachanov forced a third by breaking Medvedev’s serve early to go up 2-0.

But Medvedev owned the third, surviving an early breakpoint when Khachanov hit a loose backhand into the doubles alley for a rare unforced error.

Medvedev broke Khachanov in the next game to go up 3-1 and won a wondrous 26-shot rally on match point. Khachanov picked up a drop shot, then retrieved a shot from the baseline between the legs before his friend put away the winner.

Also Friday, No. 15-seed Petra Kvitova and unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea were playing to decide who’ll take on Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s women’s singles final. Rybakina, who has won 13 straight matches, including the Indian Wells title, beat Jessica Pegula in straight sets in a rain-delayed match that ended close to midnight.

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