Medvedev Powers Past McDonald Into First Australian Open QF
After edging through in a marathon five-setter against Filip Krajinovic in the third round, Medvedev’s road to the quarter-finals was much more straightforward. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion fired 29 winners past the 25-year-old American across an hour and 29 minutes to advance inside Margaret Court Arena.
The victory also keeps Medvedev on track for a blockbuster quarter-final collision against countryman Andrey Rublev, the No. 7 seed, who takes on Casper Ruud in the fourth round. Should Rublev advance, Medvedev will look to extend his 3-0 ATP Head2Head lead against his countryman. Both players are on an undefeated streak to start the season after steering Russia to a dominant ATP Cup title run.
“It’s an exciting moment [to be] in [the] quarter-finals in Australia for the first time, that’s a great achievement for me,” Medvedev said in his post-match interview. “I want more all the time, but step by step. So this is amazing.
“Of course I’m going to be [cheering] for Andrey, because if he goes through it’s going to be at least one Russian in the semis, maybe two with Aslan [Karatsev] in the other half of the draw.”
Medvedev took early command of a first set that ended up being more complicated than he would have liked. The Russian opened a 4-1 lead with a double break, playing patient tennis and taking control with his big first serve.
But McDonald gave him plenty of trouble as he tried to serve out the first set. The American pulled Medvedev up to the net and forced errors out of the Russian’s racquet to save set point and break at 5-3. But despite the pushback, Medvedev was still a break in front, and the Russian didn’t panic as he served it out on his second try.
Medvedev struck only eight unforced errors across the opening two sets (15 in the match) as he dominated from the baseline against McDonald. Medvedev won five games in a row to take the second set with a double break. But 25-year-old McDonald was determined to make Medvedev earn every game, and the pair settled into a tense battle. The Russian broke through late in the set to seal his 18th consecutive victory.
“When you play Mackenzie, many times he’s going to be in control of the games and you just need to defend,” Medvedev said. “I knew that I needed to play a lot of low balls, because he plays really flat and aggressive. If you give him high balls, he’s going to try to destroy them. That’s what he did in a few moments.
“I was just trying to stay as much as possible in the points... and I managed to take all my chances today.”
With the victory, Medvedev moved into his third Grand Slam quarter-final, and his first away from the US Open. He is looking to become Russia’s first male Grand Slam champion since Marat Safin won the Australian Open in 2005.