Russian Daniil Medvedev’s survival at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, was running out on Wednesday. Simply demanded by Felix Auger-Aliassime from Canada, the world number 2 is currently losing in the first two sets and is only one match point adrift in the quarter-finals.
But the Russian came back in the match and overcame his rival, who is ninth in the ATP rankings, 3-2 – with partial 6/7 (4/7), 3/6, 7/6 (7/2). ), 7/5 and 6/4, after 4 hours 42 minutes. It was the first comeback for a tennis player after losing the first two halves in this edition of the tournament.
Medvedev holds the unbeaten record to Aliassime on the professional circuit, having now won all four of their duels. The current US Open champion and runner-up in Australia last year, the 25-year-old Russian is seeking a fourth Grand Slam final of his career. For that, he has to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, ranked 4th, who easily beat Jannik Sinner of Italy by 3 sets to 0 – partial 6/3, 6/4 and 6/2. The history of the confrontation is quite favorable for Medvedev, who has six wins and two defeats.
The quarter-final win also helped Medvedev get closer to Novak Djokovic in the race for the top spot in the rankings. The Russian has kept 720 of the 1,200 points from last year’s runners-up and needs one more win to avoid dropping points. The Serbian, the 2021 champion and eliminated from this year’s tournament, will lose 2,000 points. But according to the ATP, the discount will only take effect on February 21, when the 2021 tournament turns one year old. For now, the trend is that the difference drops from 2,080 to 560 points after a proper update.
Aliassime ended her best Australian campaign in three appearances, as she missed out on her debut in 2020 and in the last 16 in 2021. The 21-year-old Canadian, still chasing her first title on the ATP circuit, had the best result in a Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open. last year, where he was precisely surpassed by Medvedev. He is also trying to match the best campaigns in the country in Melbourne: Eugenie Bouchard semifinals in 2014 and Milos Raonic in 2016.
If in his campaign to the quarter-finals Tsitsipas did not shine much, he seems to have decided to raise the bar at the right time, right in the final round of the Australian Open. Thus, seed number 4 gave Sinner very few chances and got his best in straight sets, taking 2 hours and 6 minutes.
Tsitsipas went on to write unbeaten in a quarter-final at a Grand Slam, winning his fifth in a row. She reached the semifinals in Melbourne for the third time, the second in a row.
With the win over Sinner, the Greek reached 15th at the Australian Open, equaling the record she had at Roland Garros, where she had the same number of wins, but lost one semifinal (3-2). In the other two Slams together, she has just eight wins – three at Wimbledon and five at the US Open.
After the win, Tsitsipas admitted at a press conference that the game against Sinner was his best match on Melbourne’s hardcourts. The Greek also admitted to shocking the medical team after an elbow injury that nearly saw him crash out of the first Grand Slam of the year. “It was my best match, without a doubt. I was very consistent from start to finish and followed my game plan. I know I have an opponent who will show his best, so I raise my level as high as possible”, he commented.
Finally, Tsitsipas took the opportunity to clarify that there was no friendship between him and Medvedev. However, their relationship has improved since last year’s Laver Cup dispute. “We don’t talk much. We are rivals on the pitch and beyond that we are fighting for the same dream.”
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