Daniil Medvedev’s impressive start to the 2023 season continued on Friday at the Adelaide International 1, where the World No. 7 downed Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals at the hard-court ATP 250 event.
After fending off two break points from 15/40 to hold in his opening service game, the third-seeded Medvedev delivered a commanding quarter-final performance in his first tour-level meeting with Khachanov since 2019. He reeled off four games in a row from 2-3 to claim the first set and did not panic when broken early in the second, winning five straight games from 1-3 to clinch a comfortable 78-minute victory.
“It’s been a long time,” said Medvedev in his on-court interview. “We didn’t play since 2019, that’s pretty long. Hopefully we can play more matches at later stages of tournaments. It’s never easy, I’m happy that I managed to really raise my level, especially at the end of both sets, and I’m really happy to be through to the semis.”
Medvedev is yet to drop a set this week in Adelaide, where he moved past Lorenzo Sonego and Miomir Kecmanovic in his opening two rounds. Fourteen of his 15 tour-level titles have come on hard courts, and he will hope to move one step closer to lifting another trophy on the surface when he takes on top seed Novak Djokovic or seventh seed Denis Shapovalov in the semi-finals.
“I think one of them has a lot of titles and quite likes to play in Australia!” said Medvedev of Djokovic when asked about his potential semi-final opponents. “I think he didn’t lose for a long time here, but I’m going to watch their match.
“You never know what is going to happen. Denis is such a strong player, and even if he didn’t manage to beat Novak yet, this moment is going to come one day, because he is such a strong player.”
Straight-sets victories against Andy Murray and Roberto Bautista Agut had seen Korda start his season in style in South Australia, and he made it three in a row by breezing past Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-1 to reach the last four on tournament debut.
Korda converted five of nine break points to ease to victory in 86 minutes against Sinner, who took a medical time out at the end of the first set and later withdrew from the doubles due to a left hip problem. Korda is now 11-3 since the start of October.
In contrast, his upcoming semi-final opponent Nishioka was taken the distance by home qualifier Alexei Popyrin in a lung-busting two-hour, 46-minute encounter. The World No. 120 Popyrin fired 27 aces in his third ATP Tour quarter-final but two-time tour-level titlist Nishioka stayed with his big-serving opponent before accelerating to a 7-6(4), 6-7(8), 6-2 victory.
Nishioka arrived in Australia off the back of some excellent results in the second half of the 2022 season. He reached the championship match in Washington in August before defeating then-World No. 2 Casper Ruud en route to his second ATP Tour title in Seoul in October.