Australian Open 2021: Daniil Medvedev finally wins five setter, frustrated Karolina Pliskova knocked out

The win stretched Medvedev's winning streak to 17 matches, including his successful run to the title at the 2020 season-ending ATP Finals.

The Associated Press February 13, 2021 09:02:05 IST
Australian Open 2021: Daniil Medvedev finally wins five setter, frustrated Karolina Pliskova knocked out

Daniil Medvedev overcame a five setter and injury hiccup to advance at Australian Open. AP

Melbourne: Daniil Medvedev finally worked out how to a win a five-setter. All by himself.

The fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev was 0-6 in five-setters, and his match against No. 28-seeded Filip Krajinovic looked like it was going all the way in the third round of the Australian Open.

After some angry outbursts from an increasingly animated and chatty Medvedev directed at his box in an otherwise empty Rod Laver Arena, his coach, Gilles Cervara got up and left.

"He said just before leaving that he's sure I'm going to win the match. He's going to leave me alone to be more calm," Medvedev explained in his post-match, on-court TV interview after Saturday's 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 win. "It was a good thing to do. Luckily I won."

Medvedev had been bothered by a problem with his upper left leg and left the court with a trainer for a medical timeout late in the fourth set.

While he was falling behind in that set, Medvedev yelled after dropping a point: "Unbelievable! This is unbelievable!"

When he fell behind 5-2 in the fourth, Medvedev shouted, "I never saw something like this!"

He returned to better much play in the deciding set, smacking an inside-out forehand winner to a corner to close an 18-stroke exchange and break to go up 2-0.

He didn't drop another game as he seized the momentum back from Krajinovic, who was previously 4-1 in matches that went the full five sets.

"In contrary with previous matches where I could get tight ... here I was really calm to finish the match," Medvedev said. "Really happy I got the five-set win."

The win stretched Medvedev's winning streak to 17 matches, including his successful run to the title at the 2020 season-ending ATP Finals.

Medvedev, the US Open finalist last year, will next play Mackenzie McDonald, the unseeded American who beat Lloyd Harris in straight sets to equal his best Grand Slam result by reaching the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

Andrey Rublev stayed on course for quarterfinal match against his ATP Cup-winning teammate Medvedev with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 third-round win over 39-year-old Feliciano Lopez. Rublev and Medevedev both went unbeaten in the 12-team ATP Cup last week to clinch the title for Russia.

The seventh-seeded Rublev will meet Casper Ruud of Norway in the fourth round.

No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Mikael Ymer of Sweden 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 in the third round. It was a much more straight-forward outing than his five-set marathon against Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round.

In women's draw, the No. 61-ranked Jessica Pegula reached the fourth round by drubbing Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-1.

Even Pegula seemed surprised by her best career showing at a major tournament, which started with a first-round win over two-time Australian champion Victoria Azarenka.

"I don't really expect to be playing this good next match," Pegula, the daughter of Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the NFL Bills and NHL Sabres, said of her fourth-rounder against No. 5-seeded Elina Svitolina.

Svitolina, a tour veteran from Ukraine who has won 66 Grand Slam matches, needs one more win to match her best showing at Melbourne Park. She was a semifinalist at both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019.

There were no fans in the stands due to the start of a five-day lockdown imposed by the Victoria state government in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a quarantine hotel. Up to 30,000 spectators daily — 50% of capacity — had been admitted on previous days.

Mertens remains unbeaten in 2021

Australian Open 2021 Daniil Medvedev finally wins five setter frustrated Karolina Pliskova knocked out

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic throws her racket in frustration. AP

Elise Mertens continued her winning start to 2021 with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic to reach the fourth round. The No 18-seeded Mertens won a tuneup tournament at Melbourne Park in the week between players coming out of mandatory quarantine in Australia and when the year’s first major tournament started.

The 2018 Australian Open semifinalist will take a seven-match winning streak into her fourth-rounder against No. 25 Karolina Muchova.

Muchova staged an astounding second-set comeback from a 5-0 deficit in near silence, which only made the turnaround seem more bizarre as she beat No. 6 Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-5.

Muchova played in an empty Rod Laver Arena.

"It's a big difference," she said. "I was actually getting, like, happy yesterday morning that I'm finally going to play on a bigger court and there's going to be a crowd. But unlucky now for five days here. Hopefully then it's going to be back again."

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Australian Open 2021: Daniil Medvedev powers past Stefanos Tsitsipas into final
Sports

Australian Open 2021: Daniil Medvedev powers past Stefanos Tsitsipas into final

Medvedev proved far too strong for Tsitsipas, crushing him 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in front of more than 7,000 noisy fans at Rod Laver Arena to extend his win streak to 20.

World No 2 Rafael Nadal pulls out of Rotterdam Open due to back problem
Sports

World No 2 Rafael Nadal pulls out of Rotterdam Open due to back problem

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was due to be playing in Rotterdam for the first time since 2009.

Australian Open 2021: Naomi Osaka will put her winning streak, Slam record on line against big-hitting Jennifer Brady
Sports

Australian Open 2021: Naomi Osaka will put her winning streak, Slam record on line against big-hitting Jennifer Brady

Naomi Osaka goes for her fourth Grand Slam title in the Australian Open final on Saturday. Standing in her path is Jennifer Brady - playing her maiden final.