Daniil Medvedev finally figured out how to win five setters. All alone. The fourth-placed Medvedev was 0-6 in five setters in his career, and his match against No. 28 Philip Krainovich looked like he was finishing in the third round of the Australian Open.
After angry outbursts of an increasingly animated and talkative Medvedev heading to his box in the otherwise empty Rod Laver Arena – fans were banned as a precaution for COVID-19 – his coach Gilles Chervara got up and left.
“He said just before he left that he was sure I would win the match. He will leave me alone to be calmer, “Medvedev explained in a televised interview after winning 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 on Saturday.” It was a good thing to do. Fortunately, I won. “
Medvedev was worried about a problem with his upper left leg and left the court with a medical timeout coach at the end of the fourth set. As he fell behind in this set, Medvedev screamed after dropping a point: “Unbelievable! This is amazing! ”
When he fell 5-2 in the fourth, Medvedev shouted, “I’ve never seen anything like it!”
He returned to a better game in the deciding set by hitting a forehand winner from inside the corner to close an 18-bar exchange and rehearsals to go up 2-0.
He did not drop another game, as he grabbed the momentum from Krainovic, who had previously been 4-1 in matches that went through the five sets.
“Unlike the previous matches, where I could tighten up. . . “I was really calm here to finish the match,” Medvedev said. Really happy to have won five sets. “
The victory extended Medvedev’s winning streak to 17 matches, including his successful run to the ATP Finals title in the 2020 season and with Russia last week in the ATP Cup.
Medvedev, last year’s U.S. Open finalist, will play Mackenzie MacDonald, the undefeated American who defeated Lloyd Harris in straight sets to equal his best Grand Slam result, reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
Andrei Rublev had a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 victory over 39-year-old Feliciano Lopez and remained on the course for a match from Russia for the quarterfinals against Medvedev.
Both Rublev and Medvedev were undefeated in the ATP Cup with 12 teams. Seventh-placed Rublev, who will face Casper Ruud of Norway in the fourth round, won five high-round titles in 2020 and finished a year of Novak Djokovic with a record of 41-10 wins and losses in most tournaments. win a level match.
Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday. It was a much straighter outing than his five-set marathon against Tanassi Kokinakis in the second round.
The winner of the warm-up week is the women.
Ellis Mertens needed just 62 minutes to win 6-2, 6-1 over 11th-placed Belinda Bencic.
Number 18 Mertens won a tuning tournament in Melbourne Park during the week between players out of compulsory quarantine in Australia and when he started the first major tournament of the year.
The semifinalist of the Australian Open in 2018 will take a series of victories from seven matches in her match against Karolina Muhova in the fourth round.
Number 25 Mukhova made an amazing comeback from the second set of a 5-0 deficit with almost silence, which only made the turn look weirder when she beat No. 6 Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-5.
Fighting game in empty Rod Laver Arena. There were no fans in the stands due to the start of a five-day blockade imposed by the Victoria government in response to a COVID-19 outbreak in a quarantine hotel. Up to 30,000 spectators a day – 50% of the capacity – were admitted in the previous days.
“This is a big difference,” Muchova said. “In fact, I was happy yesterday morning that I would finally play on a bigger court and have a crowd. But good luck now for five days here. We hope he will be back again then. “
Ranked 61, Jessica Pegula reached the fourth round, beating Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-1.
Even Pegula seemed surprised by her best career in a major tournament, which began with a first-round victory over two-time Australian champion Victoria Azarenka.
“I really don’t expect to play this good next game,” said Pegula, daughter of Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the NFL Bills and NHL Sabers, for her fourth round against No. 5 Elina Svitolina.
Svitolina, a veteran of the Ukrainian tour that has won 66 Grand Slam matches, needs another win to match his best performance in Melbourne Park. She was a semifinalist at both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019.