No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev has booked his place in the semifinals of the Australian Open, coming from two sets to love down and saving a match point to defeat No. 9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7(4), 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-5, 6-4 in four hours and 42-minutes on Wednesday evening on Rod Laver Arena.
The first set was an arm wrestle. Auger-Aliassime was the first to draw blood, breaking Medvedev deep in the set for a 6-5 lead, but was unable to consolidate the break, gifting Medvedev the break back with four forehand unforced errors, seeing the set move into a tiebreaker. But the Canadian was able to regain his composure and take the set in the tiebreaker.
The 21-year-old raced away to a 3-0 lead in the second set and carried that lead to eventually take the set 6-3, leaving Medvedev bereft of confidence and on the brink of a shock Australian Open exit.
“I had zero confidence after the two sets. He was playing insane, like better than I have ever seen him play, at least against me or in practice. Because, well, I cannot watch every of his match so maybe he did show this level before. Me, I have never seen him play like this. It was unreal,” Medvedev stated.
”And I didn't show exactly my best level. Was missing just a little bit too much. Yeah, so third set I had zero confidence in myself and in the outcome of the match. I just tried to fight.”
The turning point in the match came deep in the third set. In a tiebreaker, the match was paused as rain trickled down on the court to close the roof. As Medvedev returned to the court, he blazed away to take the set, keeping his tournament alive.
The Russian was on the brink of defeat but went on to save a match point in the fourth set, before stealing it 7-5, forcing a fifth set and eventually prevailing to become the first man in the tournament to successfully win after going two sets to love down.
Medvedev will now meet No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a replay on last years Australian Open semi-final, where Medvedev won in straight sets.
“So I'm feeling pretty confident. Of course, I don't know how my body will feel tomorrow, but so far I'm feeling okay. Hopefully I can recover well and be ready for the semis,” Medvedev explained.
“I never had this experience. I played some long matches but never like four hours and never won it to be able to play in two days. It's far by midnight now. I'm going to have to see.
Again, you know, if we look at the best, they were able to do it somehow. I don't know how. But they were able to do it. So if I want to be a part of this group, even if I'm really far right now, I want to try to make it happen. I'm going to try to recover as well as possible, to be ready to play against Stefanos, because he's a great player. I need to be at my best to beat him,” Medvedev said.
The Russian holds a 6-2 head-to-head lead over Tsitsipas.