(REUTERS) - Daniil Medvedev will arrive in New York for his US Open title defence this month as the top seed after the Russian confirmed his stay as world No. 1 by reaching the final in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Friday (Aug 5).
A ban on Russian players at Wimbledon due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine forced Medvedev to miss the grass-court 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 (7-0), 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 hard-court 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 tiebreak 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 Rafael 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.
Meanwhile, Australian Nick Kyrgios saved five match points during a dramatic second-set tiebreaker to edge local hope Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (14-12), 6-2 and reach the semi-finals of the Citi Open in Washington.
"Frances put himself in every position to win the match," Kyrgios said.
"In those moments I wasn't really thinking too much. I was just trying to stay in the match and I survived.
"Then I felt like physically I was really fresh in the third set and served well. I was extremely lucky at times, but it was just a great match."
He will play Swede Mikael Ymer in the next round while Russian top seed Andr...