I didn't expect such a great level from Stefanos Tsitsipas: Daniil Medvedev

The Greek player produced a strong performance to get the better of the Russian in three hard-fought sets in the French Open quarterfinals.

Daniil Medvedev in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/@atptour)

Second seed Daniil Medvedev had a chance of becoming the World No.1 and was the favourite against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Tuesday – atleast on paper. But the quarterfinal match at Roland Garros turned out to be entirely different. The Greek player surprised the Russian early on with his impressive play and the second seed was never able to fully recover. “That’s why it went so easy on his side, because I didn’t expect such a great level from him,” Medvedev said after losing the match in straight sets on Tuesday.

“I felt like I played good guys like [Alexander] Bublik, [Cristian] Garin, Tommy Paul actually, who played good from baseline. I felt that I was on top of them in the rallies, so I felt I could continue doing this today like on the hard courts. It was not the case so I had to change. I had to go more aggressive. I feel I’ve done a lot of good things today, but it was not enough to win, and that’s unfortunate.”

Tsitsipas had a comfortable outing in the first set, but the next two sets were closely-fought battles, which the Greek player prevailed with a scoreline 6-3, 7-6, 7-5 after two hours and 19 minutes. “Every time I don’t win a tournament, it’s kind of a disappointment,” Medvedev said.

“I was feeling good straight away, so I was like, ‘I can do good results.’ But before coming here, if anybody would tell me I would be in [the] quarters losing to Tsitsipas in a tough match, I would sign. I will not lie, I would sign, especially being 0-4 in the first rounds before.”

Underarm serve

Despite losing the match in straight sets, Medvedev had opportunities of his own. He gained two set points in the second set and led by a break in the third set, but failed to make the most of it. “I think [it was a] great tournament, great fight today. I was fighting until the last point,” the Russian said. “If we talk about the last point, that was tactically [what] I wanted to do [with] this serve, it was not that I wanted to leave the court or anything.”

Medvedev was referring to the match point, when he surprisingly hit an underarm serve and rushed to the net. Tsitsipas, however, read the situation and replied with a stunning backhand to seal his win.

“I was thinking about it during the whole match, that maybe [on an] important point I could do it, because my opinion [is] that he was quite far back in the court, so that can always work,” Medvedev said. “But I didn’t see the opportunity before, and this one I felt that he was kind of on top of me, so I thought it’s going to be a good choice to bring him [a] surprise.

“I sometimes do it in practice. Usually guys are a bit surprised. It didn’t work out at all. He had an easy ball to finish. He made it. But again, as I said, it was tactical, and I won’t say it was a mistake. It was something that I dared to do and just maybe next time I won’t do it knowing that he’s ready.”

Sportslumo Desk

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