Australian Open: Daniil Medvedev saves match point to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in five-set thriller

For only the second time in his career, the Russian star bounced back from a two-sets-to-love deficit under the lights at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

Daniil Medvedev celebrates. Credit: [email protected]

Daniil Medvedev showed his fighting spirit, rallying from two sets down against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals to keep his Australian Open title ambitions alive. On the brink of exit, the World No.2 started his fight, clinching the last three sets, and also saved one match point along the way to reach the semi-finals in Melbourne. For only the second time in his career, the Russian star bounced back from a two-sets-to-love deficit under the lights at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday. He finally overcame the inspired Canadian 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4 in four hours and 41 minutes to win the thriller. Medvedev will next take on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinal after the Greek player eased past 11th seed Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

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To counter Auger-Aliassime’s heavy-hitting, the second seed stood deep behind the baseline throughout the match and managed the game well, especially in the last few sets. In the fourth set, Daniil Medvedev saved one match point on serve at 4-5, 30/40 with a powerful first serve. As a result of the morale-boosting come-from-behind victory, he has now extended his perfect ATP Head2Head record against the ninth seed to 4-0.

“I was not playing my best and Felix was playing unbelievably,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “[He was] serving unbelievably, he was all over me. I did not really know what to do, but I told myself, I am going to make him work and fight until the last point. I managed to raise my level. When they closed the roof I felt the momentum change, that I could hit through the court better.”

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Daniil Medvedev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime: How the match unfolded?

Earlier, Auger-Aliassime started the match on the front foot, pulling the second seed around the court with his heavy groundstrokes. The Canadian impressively broke for a 6-5 lead in the first set. However, he was unable to serve out the set but did not let the disappointment get to him, as he found a way through the tie-break to clinch the set.

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With the momentum on his side, the 21-year-old tried to dominate the second set by applying the pressure from the start, and broke the second seed immediately to take complete control. The ninth seed did not face a break point in the set and won 85 per cent (17/20) of points behind his first delivery.

On the brink of getting knocked out, Medvedev refocussed just in time to get himself back in the match. With not much to separate them, the third set moved into a tie-break. Due to a short rain delay, the roof was closed. Soon, the Russian dominated the tie-break to bring himself right back into the match.

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Medvedev was not in the mood to throw away the match, and this was clear when he faced a match point in the fourth set. The Russian saved the match point with a powerful serve at 4-5, 30/40 before breaking the Canadian to take the match into the final set. Buoyed by momentum, there was no stopping Medvedev in the last set. He won the set 6-4 to seal the tightly-fought contest in four hours and 41 minutes.

“On the match point I managed to serve well,” Medvedev added. “It is funny because with my locker bag I come with lots of clothes just in case. It is full and tough to zip up, but now it is empty, so that is how this match was.”

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