Medvedev saves match points and moves to Australian Open Semi

Melbourne, Australia — Daniil Medvedev asked himself a question as he lost the first two sets, was unsure and was one point from the Australian Open quarterfinal exit: what Novak does. mosquito?

Fair question. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open nine times and did not win one Grand Slam in his calendar year in 2021.

Modeled after 20 Grand Slam champions, Medvedev told himself at the end of Wednesday to have Felix Auger Aliassime fight in every respect.

US Open Champions make a 6–7 (4), 3–6, 7–6 (2), 7–5, 6–4 comeback more than an hour after saving Saab match points in the fourth set. I finished. Victory almost 30 minutes after midnight.

“He was playing insane, as I was playing better than I’ve ever seen. It was unrealistic,” Medvedev said. “So the third set was completely unsure of myself and the outcome of the match.”

Medvedev shared his thoughts on Djokovic in a television interview in court and a subsequent press conference. He wasn’t joking.

“I wasn’t doing my best, and Felix was … everywhere in me,” Medvedev said. “I didn’t know what to do, so I asked myself (what would Novak do).

“And I just thought I was going to get him to work. If he wants to win it, he … has to fight to the end.”

Medvedev needs to recover quickly to face French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday in the semi-final rematch at Melbourne Park last year. Medvedev won the same stage last year, but lost to Djokovic, who was not allowed to defend the title this month because he did not meet Australia’s strict COVID-19 vaccination rules.

Tsitsipas had a much easier journey to the semi-finals, beating No. 11 Jannik Sinner 6–3, 6–4, 6–2 early on the 10th day.

The men’s quarterfinals were delayed in the middle of the match due to rain.

Medvedev shook the momentum with a two-on-one six-minute break on a third set of tiebreakers to close the roof of Rod Laver Arena.

Auger-Aliassime scored only one of the last six points of the tiebreaker after dominating the first two sets. He missed Medvedev’s serve match points in the tenth game of the fourth set.

Felix Auger-Aliassime
Felix Ogier-Canada’s Alias ​​Shime reacts after winning a second set with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Tennis Championships on January 26, 2022 in Melbourne. increase. (AndyBrownbill / AP Photo)

Medvedev saved it on a big first serve and then held it with an overhead winner.

He defeated Auger-Aliassime’s serve in the next game and was held to level the match in all two sets. Later, when the 21-year-old Canadian double-faulted in the third game of the decision set, he got another service break.

It wasn’t over yet.

Medvedev had to save two breakpoints in order to play in the match. I saved 6 out of 6 in the set, 9 out of 11 in total, and then quit.

After a four-hour, 42-minute quarter-final match, Medvedev won two wins since becoming the first man in the open era, winning his second Grand Slam title in the next major tournament following the first tournament.

This is a statistic he said he wasn’t aware of before, but it can now serve as an additional motivation to win the title.

“If that’s true, it’s going to be history,” he said. “It’s perfect.”

Auger-Aliassime has lost all three games against second-placed Medvedev, including a straight set defeat in the US Open semi-finals last September.

However, he was the first two sets of attackers, out of balance with Medvedev’s forehand, uptempo matches, and athletic performance. He attacked on every occasion, hitting 64 winners and committing 75 forced errors. It pushed Medvedev into a featureless double fault in the first set, letting him play more inside the baseline and pulling his way home in the third and fourth sets.

“I wish I could go back and change it, but I can’t,” Auger-Aliassime said of the results. “I’ve already accepted it. I’m going to get into the rest of the season, knowing that I can raise my head and leave Australia and play well with the best players in the world.”

Medvedev ended with 49 winners and 53 unforced errors. He served 15 ace, but also had 9 double faults. He has been virtually the first seed since Djokovic was deported on the eve of the tournament following an 11-day vigil saga.

Another person who can benefit from Djokovic’s absence is Rafael Nadal.

The 35-year-old Spaniard, seeking the 21st major title in the men’s record to defeat Djokovic and Roger Federer, will face Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini in other semi-final matches.

In the men’s quarterfinals, when Danielle Collins defeated Alizé Cornet 7-5, 6-1 and 2020 French Open champion Iga Sifion defeated 36-year-old Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 7-6. , The temperature has dropped. 2), 6–3.

Collins’ victory means that there are two Americans in the semi-finals. Madison Keys, the 2017 US Open runner-up, will face Wimbledon champion Ashberty.

The women’s semifinals are scheduled for Thursday.

After the first three women’s quarterfinals were decided on a straight set, top-ranked Bertie defeated Jessica Pegra and Keys eliminated Barbora Krejčkova on Tuesday.

“This match was crazy,” Swiertech said of her up-and-down victory.

In that match, the temperature reached 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) and continued to be hot for a week.

When she left the courtroom, Sweertech wrote on the lens of a television camera: # tired. “

John Pai

Associated Press