Bottom half favorites Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas had to survive stern upset bids by Americans on Monday at the Australian Open.
After an easy first set, Medvedev was in deep against the hard-charging Maxime Cressy. The 24-year-old American exclusively serve-and-volleys, and while he got rolled in the first, his style began to frustrate the World No. 2.
After dropping the third, Cressy kept fending off break points in the fourth, prompting Medvedev to go into a tirade about Cressy, for which the Russian later apologized.
Medvedev did finally get the break after eight missed chances in the fourth and served it out for a tough 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 7-5.
Medvedev faced just one break point but finished just 3 of 12 on break points. Cressy banged away 18 aces but also 18 double faults along with 89 points won at the net.
“He really did well,” Medvedev said of Cressy’s tactics. “First set I had control, but the second set I didn’t manage to break him but won the tie-break and just wanted to continue this way. When I lost the third and when I had eight break points in the fourth set, I was like, come on. Some of them I could have won, but he played well, but on the last one I played well.”
In the quarterfinals, Medvedev gets rematch with Felix Auger Aliassime who he beat in the semifinals at the US Open.
The Canadian dropped the first set before storming back to beat former finalist Marin Cilic 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-2, 7-6(4). Cilic had a set point to go up two sets, but couldn’t convert.
“This was my first win against him, at an important moment like this. I told him at the end of the match, he’s a champion, the way he handles himself, the way he plays, so he’s going to come out with his best level and test me and make me earn my win. I’m really relieved and happy to get through, especially the way I did it.”
With Denis Shapovalov already in the last eight, it’s the first time two Canadian men have made a Slam quarterfinal.
Auger Aliassime, though, is 0-3 against Medvedev.
“I’m feeling good,” said Auger-Aliassime. “It was quite hot at the start, the sun here in Australia hits you pretty hard. It’s still early in the day, I’m going to have time to recover before I play again on Wednesday, so it’s the perfect scenario.”
Tsitsipas was on at night and had another drama-filled match. The Greek was pushed to five sets before getting a break at 4-all in the fifth to deny Taylor Fritz 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Playing his first Slam fourth round, Fritz struggled on his second serve the last two sets winning just 47% of his second offering. Tsitsipas shrugged off multiple coaching violations ripping 53 winners including 19 aces to reach his third Australian Open quarterfinal.
“I gave everything out on the court today,” Tsitsipas told the crowd. “I am very proud of myself with the way I fought and the way I stay consistent in the crucial moments. I am overwhelmed. The stadium was on fire. It is too good to be true.”
In the quarters will be Jannik Sinner who outclassed the last Australian man, Alex De Minaur, 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4.
“He had an amazing 2021, I’m expecting big tennis from him,” said Tsitsipas of the Italian.
Tonight, Rafael Nadal returns to face his second straight lefty in Denis Shapovalov. The 22-year-old Shapovalov is the last lefty to beat Rafa, that back at the 2017 Canadian.
Then in the evening, Matteo Berrettini meets the very in-form Gael Monfils with a spot in a first Australian Open semifinal on the line.
TUESDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena
Day session – From 11am
S. Groth/P. Rafter v W. Ferreira/M. Philippoussis
Day session – Not before 12:30pm
B. Krejcikova 4 v M. Keys
Day session – Not before 2pm
D. Shapovalov 14 v R. Nadal 6
Night session – From7pm
A. Barty 1 v J. Pegula 21
G. Monfils 17 v M. Berrettini 7
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