Wimbledon | Medvedev grabs his chances and puts out Sinner

Daniil Medvedev was hoping that his quarter final match with the top seeded Jannik Sinner would be scheduled on Court No.1 where he has not yet lost a match.

At one moment I could feel he doesn't move that well and it's always tricky because you want to play more points to make him suffer a little bit more. In a good way! Daniil Medvedev

It wasn’t, but Centre Court might now be considered with a less jaundiced eye by the Russian fifth seed following his dramatic five set victory over the Italian world No.1.

“It’s my first time winning two matches on Centre Court at Wimbledon,” he said following his 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 1-6 6-3 four-hour victory. It was also the 36th five-setter of the Fortnight, a record!

“Usually, I would either win one or zero (on Centre Court) so this is a record already,” he added with a broad smile and very satisfied look.

And he deserved to be, for the Russian stuck in there to turn around a run of five consecutive losses to the Italian, including the final of the Australian Open last January.

In addition, he was up against a player who had won four titles this season, the most of any player on the tour with 42 wins including 4 at Wimbledon, and just 3 losses, all of which made him a very strong contender for this year’s Championships title.

The 28-year-old knew from the start that he had a big hurdle to clear and when the pair opened proceedings it became very obvious that both players had brought their ‘A’ games to the court.

The exchanges were of the highest quality. The serves seemingly unbreakable and it wasn’t surprising to see the opening set go to a tiebreak without either of them raising a break point.

There the fun started with Medvedev making an early breakthrough for 2-1 and managing to hang on for 3-1 following a lung-busting 33-shot rally only to double faulted and let Sinner back in.

The 22-year-old repaid him a few points later handing Medvedev a set point who blew it with a wild forehand error. A second one gave Sinner his first chance to claim the set which he then in turn fluffed.

He was eventually handed the set when Medvedev delivered his second double of the match after 59-minutes of intense play.

But Medvedev responded strongly in the second gaining the only break to level the match but there were some signs that Sinner was starting to flag.

Jannik Sinner discusses his problem with the trainer

(Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

In fact, he called for the trainer after dropping his serve to trail 1-3 in the third and after a long discussion courtside, went off court for treatment.

He returned after an 11-minute break and resumed play, but he wasn’t the energetic player everyone had watched in the first set. His game plan changed to deploying drop shots and doing everything to keep the points short.

Whatever he had been given, the effects started to take effect later in the set and he broke back for 5-5 and held on for a second tiebreak where he fell behind 2-3 which was all the Russian needed to snatch the set and storm into a 2-sets to one lead.

By now the match was reaching the three-hour mark with Medvedev seemingly pulling the strings only to find himself blown away by his physically fast-improving opponent who pocketed it within 24-minutes for the loss of just two games to level at 2 sets apiece.

A quick, just under 10-minute ‘Comfort Break’ by Medvedev brought Sinner’s momentum to an end and one break in the fourth game was enough for the Russian, who hung on valiantly as the young Italian attempted to get back on terms, foiling him at every attempt.

After the match, Medvedev commented on his opponent’s ill fortune.

“He wasn’t feeling well at one point. He left the court and came out really fighting,” Medvedev said. “In that situation you have to stay selfish and not get sentimental… “

“How do you deal with that?” he was asked.

To which the Russian replied: “Yeah it’s actually very tough. At one moment I could feel he doesn’t move that well and it’s always tricky because you want to play more points to make him suffer a little bit more. In a good way!

“At the same time, you know he at one point is going to say, ‘I cannot run anymore so I’m going to go full power to win the third set.’

“In a way I would prefer to not have this situation, but everything is well when it ends well so I’m pretty happy.”

The world No. 5 added: “I knew if I wanted to beat Jannik it needs to be a tough match. He’s not anymore, a guy you can beat easy. Even I felt at one moment he was not feeling that good, but I knew this can get away then he started playing better.

“I’m happy that I managed to still stay at a high level. I think it was great points, great match. I’m really happy to win and really happy with my game and looking forward.”

And next up for the Russian is Carlos Alcaraz, the defending champion. That should prove another cracker of a match.

Daniil Medvedev (L) comforts Jannik Sinner

(Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)



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