Medvedev wins the fiver to join the Russian prosecution


© Reuters. Australian Open


By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Daniil Medvedev had to dig deep on Saturday to fend off an attacking Filip Krajinovic but came through 6-3 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-0 to extend his winning streak to 17 games and match the to join Russian attack in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Medvedev, who lost the only game between the two players at Indian Wells in 2019, blew through the first two sets in Melbourne. But he looked seriously insecure when Krajinovic won the third and took a break in the fourth.

It was the tournament’s first failure for the fourth seed, and he effectively drove his trainer Gilles Cervara from the otherwise empty stands in the Rod Laver Arena with a few angry verbal volleys before taking an injury break.

Krajinovic, who spent his pre-tournament quarantine with Novak Djokovic, was adamant after seeing some success at Medvedev’s forehand and started the competition in a fifth set.

Medvedev had never won a five-set game in six previous attempts, but after breaking the Serb 2-0 in the playoff with a crisp forehand winner, the 25-year-old encountered little resistance for the rest of the game.

“Definitely a good feeling to finally win in five sets,” said Medvedev. “He played great tennis, especially since the fourth set was perfect tennis from him.”

Medvedev, who will next take on the American Mackenzie McDonald, did not expect any problems with his coach after his controversies.

“He said shortly before leaving that he was sure that I would win the match but he will leave me alone to be calmer,” he said. “I think it was a good thing.”

Medvedev moves to compatriot Aslan Karatsev in the fourth round after the Russian qualifier against Diego Schwartzman on Friday produced a straight set.

Seventh seed Andrey Rublev made it to a trio of Russians later in the last 16 with a 7-5-6-2-3 win over 39-year-old Spaniard Feliciano Lopez at Margaret Court Arena.

“I feel great physically, I haven’t had long games and I feel fresh,” said Rublev, who will face Casper Ruud with Medvedev in the quarter-finals.

Karen Khachanov’s narrow 7-6 (1) 7-6 (5) 7-6 (5) loss to ninth Italian Matteo Berrettini was the only setback of the day for Russia’s aspiring male tennis cohort.

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