Aus Open: Medvedev stages thrilling comeback to enter semis, Tsitsipas eases into last-four

Russia's Daniil Medvedev hits a shot against Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime during their men's singles quarterfinal of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Melbourne: Top seed Daniil Medvedev battled back from two sets down and saved a match point against Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-7(4) 3-6 7-6(2) 7-5 6-4 victory on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Russian had his back firmly up against the wall for much of an absorbing contest as Auger-Aliassime produced some stunning tennis on Rod Laver Arena.

But he simply refused to lie down as he overturned a two-set deficit for only the second time in his career to set up a Friday semifinal against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Ninth seed Auger-Aliassime, 21, was the dominant player in the first set and despite a wobble when serving at 6-5 he won a tiebreak courtesy of some uncharacteristic Medvedev errors.

Auger-Aliassime cruised through the second set against a subdued Medvedev to move to within a set of a first career win against the Russian and a second Grand Slam semifinal.

Medvedev was hanging on towards the end of the third set as Auger-Aliassime sensed victory but managed to close out a tiebreak after a shower caused the roof to be closed.

Auger-Aliassime had a match point in the 10th game of the fourth set after a Medvedev double-fault but the Russian responded with huge serving to stay alive. Medvedev then broke serve in the next game and held his own to extend the match into a decider -- finally seizing the initiative with an early break as the match entered its fifth hour.

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his quarterfinal match against Italy's Jannik Sinner. Photo: Reuters

Auger-Aliassime had one last chance when he earned a break back point trailing 4-3 but Medvedev snatched away the opportunity with a timely ace.

Serving for the match, Medvedev showed some cracks in his armour as he went down 15-40, but rattled off four consecutive points to claim victory after four hours and 42 minutes.

Earlier, Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-4 6-2 in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena to win his quarterfinals. The fourth seed credited his defeat of the Italian to adopting a more humble approach to tennis after some setbacks.

Injuries, including the elbow problem that threatened his participation in Melbourne this year, and difficult defeats had taught him the importance of remaining grounded. "You know when you're dancing and when you're doing well, you tend to glorify yourself, as if you are untouchable," he told reporters.

"It is important, in that process, to remain on the ground and to remind yourself that you are a human being who is aiming for something great, and you're headed towards that direction and you're doing everything possible in order to achieve that greatness.

"Perfection doesn't exist, but close to perfection (does), and that's what I meant by that.” His tennis in the quarter-final was not perfect, but he did manage to leave a rival tipped to be a future Grand Slam winner helpless at times.

Tsitsipas served particularly well, which enabled him to dictate a majority of points with his powerful forehand. He also made his mark early in each set with a service break, converting all four opportunities on the Sinner serve while never troubled on his own delivery.

"I feel like I'm in the zone. I have no plans of getting out of it. It's part of my game," Tsitsipas said. "So far it has been the most consistent and the best match I've had in the tournament."

Tsitsipas is hoping it will be third time lucky for him in an Australian Open semifinal. After defeating Roger Federer on the way to a semi-final in 2019, he found Rafa Nadal too strong. Last February he defeated Nadal in the quarterfinals after dropping the first two sets, but was beaten by Daniil Medvedev in his next match.

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