Daniil Medvedev Survives Gruelling Five-Setter Against Hubert Hurkacz at Australian Open

Daniil Medvedev Survives Gruelling Five-Setter Against Hubert Hurkacz at Australian Open

Melbourne (AFP) – In a physical battle that pushed him to his limits, two-time Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev battled past Hubert Hurkacz in a draining five-set match. Despite being “destroyed” by the contest, the Russian world number three remains determined and ready for his upcoming semi-final match at the Australian Open.

Medvedev, in his 100th Grand Slam match, secured victory over the Polish ninth seed with a score of 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 after a grueling and nearly four-hour-long match on Rod Laver Arena.

While Medvedev has reached eight major semi-finals, he has only managed to win one title so far, which was at the 2021 US Open. He previously made it to the finals in Melbourne in 2021 and 2022, but fell short against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, respectively.

Speaking about the toll the matches take on him, Medvedev candidly admitted, “After every match, in the locker room, I’m destroyed.” But he acknowledged the hard work put in by his team during the recovery, adding, “One day off is probably enough to feel good the next day.”

Although Medvedev acknowledged struggling in long matches and in the heat, he mentioned his determination to fight through the fatigue and secure victories. Reflecting on the endurance of other players in similar situations, he wondered if genetics or metabolism played a role in their stamina.

Medvedev’s next semi-final match is scheduled for Friday. He acknowledged still feeling the effects of his second-round five-setter against Emil Ruusuvuori, which ended in the early hours of the morning last week. Despite the toll of the tournament, Medvedev is focused on performing well in the early stages of matches and pushing for victory, regardless of fatigue.

Throughout the match against Hurkacz, Medvedev displayed his expert deep-court returning skills, countering Hurkacz’s powerful serve. Despite a strong start, the Polish player struggled against Medvedev’s relentless attack, resulting in crucial breaks and a deciding fifth set.

The turning point arrived when Hurkacz made a crucial mistake, hitting a backhand long while serving at 3-3 in the fifth set, allowing Medvedev to secure the break he needed to ultimately seal the hard-fought victory.

Medvedev’s resilience and determination will be put to the test in his upcoming semi-final match, as he looks to progress further in the Australian Open and potentially claim his first title in Melbourne.