Daniil Medvedev, led two sets zero by the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime, saved a match point before qualifying for the semi-finals of the Australian Open, after a long fight of 4:42.
That he was badly embarked. Led two sets zero by an uninhibited Félix Auger-Aliassime despite his ugly ratio – 1 win and 9 losses – against the top 5 of the ATP circuit before this quarter-final of the Australian Open, Daniil Medvedev finally got away with it , Thursday, after 4:42 and five sets of a fierce fight 6-7 (4/7) 3-6 7-6 (7/2) 7-5 6-4 against the Canadian in the Rod Laver Arena. The Muscovite will challenge Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday to return to the Down Under final, a year after his loss to Novak Djokovic.
In the humidity of Melbourne, the Russian initially seemed physically borrowed – it must be said that with Kyrgios and Cressy, he had really only had gift opponents so far. Broken at 5-5 after an ill-judged passing and a double fault, the world No. 2 was lucky to see “FAA” tense at the time of conclusion: the Canadian made four unforced errors in the forehand and sent everyone in the tie-break. A decisive game that Medvedev gave him by committing two double faults.
Winning the 1st set had the merit of relaxing Auger-Aliassime a little more while his opponent seemed to take literally no pleasure on the court. Toni Nadal’s protege broke at the start of the second set and passed 83% of his first service balls to logically lead two sets to nothing. But at the start of the 3rd, on this break point which was to almost validate the qualification of “FAA” for the semi-finals, Medvedev fired a winning forehand in the corner of the court.
Medvedev then handled the mini-break better, as the Rod Laver Arena roof was unfurled midway through the second tiebreak of the night, which he won to kick things off again. He also showed great mental strength when he sent a service winner on the outside, at 213 km / h, when he faced a match point against him at 5-4 in the 4th. set. And on the next game, “FAA” had a moment of bewilderment by not playing on his reverse side a ball which was nevertheless on the line…
“I have no idea how I got out of it”
Miraculous in two sets everywhere, Medvedev was again immense in the service by saving three break points at 1-0 then two others when he served for the match, at 5-4. The brand of great champions. “I have no idea how I got out of it. On match point, I managed to serve well. Who knows what would have happened on a second serve…, reacted the Russian on the court. I wasn’t playing my best tennis and Felix was playing amazing, he was everywhere. I didn’t know what to do so I thought, “What would Novak do?”
Somewhat booed by the spectators of the Rod Laver Arena, the Russian quickly caught up. “He’s one of the greatest, like Rafa or Roger, they’ve won so many matches like that. I then decided to make it work. He had to fight to the last point. I then managed to increase my level of play and the momentum changed during the tie-break of the 3rd set, when they closed the roof, he continued. Even though I’m in the worst shape of my life, you can count on me to give it my all on Friday.”