Medvedev Battles Past Fognini In Tokyo To Reach QF
The 25-year-old required two medical timeouts and a visit from the trainer due to the intense humidity. The World No. 2 even took a shower between the second and third sets before he rallied to defeat Fognini 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in two hours and 26 minutes.
Speaking of the physical challenges he faced, Medvedev told ITFtennis.com: ”The last one was cramping, so 30 minutes after the match it’s okay. The first one I had a blocked diaphragm. It’s the same thing. The next day it’s a new story and it doesn’t affect things.
“Of course, I’m going to work with the physio on these issues to feel even better tomorrow. I actually don’t know the schedule – if we play tomorrow or not – but if we play tomorrow I’m going to do my best to be 100%.”
The ROC star, who is making his Olympics debut this week, saved seven of the eight break points he faced in the match and won 70 per cent (30/43) of his first-service points. Medvedev struck the ball with great depth as he raised his level in the crucial moments in the final set, converting both break points he earned in the decider to advance.
Top seed Novak Djokovic eased through against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 6-1 as the Serbian continued his bid to claim a historic Golden Grand Slam. The World No. 1 is aiming to become the first male player to win all four majors and a gold medal in a season, with WTA legend Stefanie Graf the only player to have completed this achievement in 1988.
The 34-year-old Djokovic captured the first three Grand Slam titles of the year, with his Wimbledon triumph moving him level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 majors. Djokovic produced a strong returning display on Wednesday, winning 51 per cent of points (22/43) on Davidovich Fokina's first serve to advance in 84 minutes.
"Pressure is a privilege,” Djokovic told ITFtennis.com. “Without pressure, there is no professional sport. If you are aiming to be at the top of the game, you better start learning how to deal with pressure and how to cope with those moments on the court, but also off the court.
“All that buzz and all that noise is something that I can't say I don't see it, or I don't hear it, of course it's there. But I've learned, I've developed the mechanism on how to deal with it in such a way that it will not pose a distraction to me. It will not wear me down. I feel I have enough experience to know myself how to step on the court and play my best tennis.”
Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas could not follow in the footsteps of Medvedev and Djokovic and reach the quarter-finals as the World No. 4, who struggled with a leg injury throughout the third set, was upset by Frenchman Ugo Humbert. The 14th seed battled back to record a career-best win, defeating the third seed 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.
The 23-year-old, who lifted the NOVENTI OPEN title in June, fired 22 winners, taking his fourth match point to advance. Humbert will next play the ROC’s Karen Khachanov after the 25-year-old downed Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in two hours and one minute to join countryman Medvedev in the last eight.Alexander Zverev was also in action as the German defeated Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 7-6(5) in one hour and 39 minutes. The fourth seed, who hit 11 aces, failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, but played aggressively in the tie-break to move through. Zverev next faces Jeremy Chardy after the Frenchman beat Brit Liam Broady 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1.