MELBOURNE: Men’s title favourite Daniil Medvedev fought back from the brink of a shock exit on Wednesday to reach the Australian Open semi-final and keep his dream of a second Grand Slam crown...
MELBOURNE: Men’s title favourite Daniil Medvedev fought back from the brink of a shock exit on Wednesday to reach the Australian Open semi-final and keep his dream of a second Grand Slam crown alive.
Medvedev, the world number two, looked down and out as he lost the opening two sets to Canadian 21-year-old sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime before mounting a remarkable turnaround.
The Russian saved a match point at 4-5, 30-40 in the fourth set before completing an astonishing revival to beat the ninth seed 6-7 (4/7), 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5, 6-4 in a marathon 4hr 42min quarter-final that finished well after midnight on Rod Laver Arena.
Asked how he managed to win, the US Open champions Medvedev admitted: “I have no idea.
“I just fought to the last point and manage to raise my level.”
It sets up a repeat of last year’s semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, which Medvedev won in straight sets before going on to lose to Novak Djokovic in the championship match.
The Greek fourth seed Tsitsipas was earlier in rampant form as he destroyed Italian world number 10 Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
By contrast to Medvedev’s struggles, Tsitsipas made serene progress in a two-hour afternoon romp halted only by rain, which caused a brief delay for the Rod Laver Arena roof to be shut and the court to be mopped dry.
The change in conditions made no difference to a dominant, flawless performance from the world number four who grasped control of the quarter-final with a break in Sinner’s opening service game and did not relinquish his firm grip.
“My humility helped a lot today, I knew I was going out on the court to face a very good player,” Tsitsipas said.
“I just focused on my very best shots and it paid off better than I thought.