Sports Desk, Jan 26 (EFE).- Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday kept his composure as he saved a match point on his way to rallying from a two-set deficit in a grueling win over Félix Auger-Aliassime in the Australian Open quarterfinal.
The Russian needed four hours and 42 minutes to pull off a 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over the Canadian, who was aiming for his second Grand Slam semis following the 2021 US Open last-4 appearance.
“I was not playing my best and Felix was playing unbelievable, serving unbelievable,” the second seed said after the victory “I didn’t really know what to do.”
“I don’t know if people will like it but I told myself ‘What would Novak (Djokovic) do?'” triggering boos from the Rod Laver Arena fans.
“Or Rafa (Nadal) or Roger (Federer) to be honest, they won so many matches like this. I thought ‘OK, I am going to make him work,'” he added.
The second-seed lost the opening set for the first time in Melbourne this year as he paid dearly for three unforced errors he made in the tiebreak. In the buildup to the tiebreaker, both players traded service breaks in the 11th and 12th games.
Auger-Aliassime, 21, gained momentum taking a 2-0 lead in the second set in which he was untouchable on serve. This was enough for the ninth seed to seal the second set.
Both players held their serve throughout the third set, forcing a tiebreak that saw rain force organizers to momentarily stop the play to close the roof.
“When they closed the roof I felt the momentum change, that I could hit through the court better,” the 2021 Australian Open finalist admitted after the match.
And so, he claimed the third set and dominated most of the fourth set, but a double fault in the 10th game jeopardized his progress as it handed his opponent a match point.
An ice-cold Medvedev, however, fired a big serve to save him out of trouble and then proceeded to win the subsequent two games, a service break included, to level the match.
The Russian found himself back on his heels at both ends of the decider, but he survived all six break points he faced and seized on the lone break point he had to complete his only second comeback from a two-set deficit.
Next up for the 2021 US Open champion will be Greek Stéfanos Tsitsipás in a rematch of the 2021 Australian Open semifinal.
The fourth seed played his best tennis to beat Italian Jannik Sinner 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
“Jannik is a very good player. So I tried to focus on my best shots and it paid off more than I thought,” Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview after wrapping up the match in two hours and six minutes.
“I am very, very happy with the way I served today and the way I came in and used my tactics in today’s match structure. Having the crowd support is truly unbelievable.”
The Greek, who has conceded just four sets in his first four matches of the tournament, displayed the form that made him the ATP Finals champion in 2019, not dropping a service game and breaking his opponent’s serve four times.
“I am pretty sure my doctor is watching right now, he has been sending me texts after every single game,” said Tsitsipas, who underwent elbow surgery at the end of last year.
“He told me ‘I don’t see you playing in Australia’ but I proved him wrong.”
This was Tsitsipas’ third quarterfinals in five appearances at the Australian Open. EFE