Brave Medvedev defeats Hurkacz to go to the Melbourne semifinals

Brave Medvedev defeats Hurkacz | Image Credit: atptour.com
Brave Medvedev defeats Hurkacz | Image Credit: atptour.com

January 24, Melbourne (Reuters) – In a thrilling quarterfinal on Wednesday, third seed Daniil Medvedev had to go far in his reserves to defeat Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 and go to the Australian Open last four for the third time.

The Russian, who has lost final matches at Melbourne Park twice, battled the huge Pole for over four exhausting hours on Rod Laver Arena before securing a matchup with either Alexander Zverev or Carlos Alcaraz.

With a winning lifetime record against Medvedev, ninth seed Hurkacz twice overcame a set down and had the Russian to fight hard for every point.

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With the deftest of drop shots, former U.S. Open champion Medvedev eventually earned a spot in his eighth Grand Slam semifinal despite grumbling and moaning throughout the match.

After playing a five-set marathon into the wee hours of the morning in the second round, Medvedev said, “I’m totally wrecked right now.”

“I felt like I was able to take advantage of every opportunity I had in every game. I’m really pleased and thrilled about that. Since you don’t have many opportunities with him.”

Hurkacz, who finished with five of fifteen break points converted, stated that while he would be happy with his run to his second Grand Slam quarterfinal, in the end, he felt that Medvedev had been too strong on a few crucial moments.

He added, “You know, I gave it all today. I wish I could have gone a little bit farther.” “It wasn’t sufficient.”

From the first set, it appears that the players are evenly matched. They both look strong on their first serves but are vulnerable on their second, giving up a break each.

Hurkacz emerged victorious in the second set, but Medvedev upped the ante in the tiebreak by diving into the net to demonstrate his volleying prowess.

The Pole was rewarded with a string of victories and an early lead, while Medvedev had to prove himself over the course of four deuces to keep the score from dropping to three.

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HI-TEMPO START

With every return game from this point on, Hurkacz was seeing Medvedev’s service, and he did get his second break for 5-2 before holding to love to tie the match.

In the third set, it was Medvedev’s turn to get off to a fast start. The Russian broke the Polish player twice to give him a break, which allowed him to go up 3-0.

After a third break of service, Hurkacz managed to hold on and take the set, but Medvedev was now hitting some winners of his own and went up two games to one with his eighth ace.

The 27-year-old broke early in the fourth set once more, but Hurkacz was still giving it his all throughout some excellent tennis, and the two managed to tie the score at 4-4.

When the Russian would undoubtedly begin to feel the effects of his second round marathon, the Pole pounced to break Medvedev once again to tie up the match and take the lead into the final.

Medvedev saved his energy and waited for a chance to strike. He took advantage of a stunning backhand return that gave him a 3-3 lead and drove home the advantage to steal the vital break.

After earning his second match point, the Russian held with difficulty but made no mistakes while serving for the victory, executing a graceful posture and blowing kisses to his teammates.

Medvedev remarked, “It was a tough fight, but I’m even thrilled to win and advance to the semis.”

Source:
https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/gutsy-medvedev-outlasts-hurkacz-reach-melbourne-semis-2024-01-24/

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