Melbourne | Medvedev turns table on Zverev

Sunday’s men’s final will see a new name engraved on the Norman Brooks Trophy and that will be either Jannik Sinner or Daniil Medvedev, the last two players left in the Australian Open draw.

I managed to win and I’m very proud, First of all we say third time lucky so let’s see. I can say from experience it doesn’t always work but hopefully in Australia they have this phrase Daniil Medvedev

And while Sinner dropped his first set in his semi-final during his win over the title favourite, Novak Djokovic, Medvedev had to battle past Alexander Zverev in another five-setter taking his time on court for six matches, to the 21-hour mark!

The Russian, seeded three for these championships, looked down and out as Zverev powered ahead to take a two-sets to love lead but somehow, Medvedev found the strength to pull off a remarkable recovery to take the next three sets and claim a place in the final, in what will be his third appearance in the title round and his sixth at slam level.

The 26-year-old won two consecutive sets on the tie break to force a fifth set where he broke mid-set and held on to record a 5-7 3-6 7-6(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 victory after four-hours and 18-minutes.

At 5-5 in the opening set the Medvedev game faltered after he had fought his way back into contention from 1-4 down but he was broken and though he had break chance in the next game, Zverev prevented a tie-break to take command.

In the second set the German went clear for 4-2 but this time he managed to hold on to go two sets up after raising set point with a forehand winner and then claiming it when Medvedev miscued a forehand.

Bearing in mind the time Medvedev had spent on court already, the question in most minds was whether he had the stamina to mount a fight back, especially as the two got embroiled in a number of rallies which extended over 40 shots, one reaching 51!

Medvedev took a long bathroom break no doubt to catch his breath and regroup mentally for the crucial third set.

He matched Zverev throughout that set and in the eventual tiebreak, he led 3-1 only to be hauled back but then, the errors started to creep into Zverev’s game as he dumped a forehand in the net which he followed by sending a backhand long thereby handing Medvedev two set points.

Daniil Medvedev raises his arms in a victory salute

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Medvedev didn’t need another invitation and with that, his remarkable comeback was launched.

The Russian now settled to grind it out and for a second time he took advantage of the tie break after Zverev had saved two set points in the eighth game.

In the tiebreak itself Medvedev had a stroke of luck as he fluked a drop shot to raise set point which he then converted with an ace.

Psychologically Medvedev had taken control as the pair entered the fifth aided by the errors which were mounting on the other side of the net. He broke for 3-2 and then held on take control..

And now it was Medvedev who was on top, edging the rallies and forcing the errors from Zverev’s racket as he went 3-2 up and held on claim a place in Sunday’s final.

After the match Medvedev said he was proud to reach the final and admitted he would be very happy to become the champion on Sunday which would be his second grand slam title having won the US Open in 2021,

“I managed to win and I’m very proud,” he said. “First of all we say third time lucky so let’s see. I can say from experience it doesn’t always work but hopefully in Australia they have this phrase.

“It will mean a lot because this court is not my best court in terms of my performance and self-esteem and that’s why I have had to dig deep. I will be the happiest man on the planet (if I win) but I will have to play pretty well and win three sets on Sunday.”

Daniil Medvedev embraces Alexander Zverev (following their semi-final clash

(Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Zverev meanwhile, blamed a lack of energy for his loss.

“End of the second set I started to lose energy. I started to not feel so fresh anymore,” Zverev told reporters. “I got a bit sick after the Alcaraz match with a bit of fever so that didn’t help the recovery and I did play quite a lot.

“Against him (Medvedev), it’s impossible to play when you’re not 100% physically, because he’s literally someone that really doesn’t give you anything.

“He makes you work for every single point and once you can’t really do that anymore, it becomes difficult. I was close in the third and fourth sets, but I wasn’t the same player as I was the first two sets anymore. I was just hanging on.”

There were many frustrating moments for Zverev during the match, including one where he smashed the net with his racket at 2-2 in the decider after missing a volley.

During the fortnight Medvedev has shown some remarkable powers of recovery but the final might be a step too far despite the fact that he leads Sinner by 6 wins to three.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :