Medvedev Survives In Five At The Australian Open
Daniil Medvedev has been the hottest player on the ATP Tour. On Saturday, the fourth seed had to rely on all his confidence to survive an upset bid and earn his 17th consecutive win.
“He played unbelievable, especially in the fourth set,” Medvedev said on court. “Third set I had some chances… He raised his level. I tried to change my position on the return in the fifth set and it seemed to be working well, I guess.”
Entering this match, Medvedev was 0-6 in five-setters, including his memorable 2019 US Open championship match against Rafael Nadal. But despite letting slip a two-set advantage against Krajinovic, the Russian steadied himself to triumph after three hours and six minutes.
“I remember many of these five-set matches. I think three or four of them I would be a break up or something like this. I always say experience is key for me, so in this fifth set I felt like of course it was tight, but as soon as I got the break, I was under control,” Medvedev said. “In contrast with the previous matches where I could get tight, start to rush things, to make some errors. Here I was… really calm to finish the match and I’m really happy that I got my first five-set win.”
Medvedev was not at his jaw-dropping best in the third and fourth sets, but the change in momentum was mostly because Krajinovic raised his level to the heights he showed in reaching the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters final. The Serbian, who is now 4-2 in five-setters, played aggressive tennis and constantly rushed the net to control his own destiny.
The 28-year-old went 21 for 27 on net points in the third and fourth sets, frustrating the Russian, who couldn’t find an answer to Krajinovic’s attacks. In the span of an hour, Medvedev went from being in cruise control to desperately trying to crack the Serbian’s code.
Medvedev wasted no time getting on track in the fifth set, crushing an inside-out forehand winner to break for a 2-0 lead. As hard as Krajinovic fought to get back into the match, it seemed nothing he did worked in the decider. Medvedev was always in the right place at the right time and he won 72 per cent of his first-serve return points in the final set.
Medvedev has played the American twice before, winning on both occasions with the loss of just five games. This will be McDonald’s second appearance in the fourth round of a major (2018 Wimbledon).