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Medvedev knocks world No 1 Sinner out of Wimbledon in topsy-turvy five-setter | Wimbledon 2024

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Medvedev knocks world No 1 Sinner out of Wimbledon in topsy-turvy five-setter | Wimbledon 2024


Wimbledon 2024

  • Fifth seed wins quarter-final 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3
  • Sinner appeared unwell and called doctor in third set

Daniil Medvedev departed Melbourne in January having experienced one of the most excruciating defeats he will ever endure. As he continued his pursuit of an elusive second grand slam title, Medvedev toiled for over 24 hours in his seven matches at the Australian Open and he played some sublime tennis to establish a two-set lead over Jannik Sinner in the final. Then it all fell apart.

It has been a challenging season for the Russian ever since and he has not won a title at any level for 14 months, but on Tuesday the 28-year-old produced one of the biggest wins of his career away from his favoured hard courts. In a tense four-hour tussle against an ailing Sinner, now the world No 1, Medvedev held his nerve to win 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3 and return to the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second consecutive year.

“I knew if I want to beat Jannik, it needs to be a tough match,” said Medvedev, who is seeded fifth this year. “He’s not any more a guy you can beat easily, even I felt at one moment he was not feeling that good. But I knew that this could get away [from me], and then he started to play better. I’m happy that I managed to still stay at a high level.”

Having spent much of his career as a self-described hard court specialist, Medvedev has worked hard to evolve and his performances at Wimbledon over the last two years are testament to the work he has put in to improve his weaknesses. The victory marks Medvedev’s first top-10 win on grass since his first breakout victory seven years ago at Wimbledon when he defeated Stan Wawrinka in the first round of Wimbledon 2017.

“It’s my first time winning two matches on Centre Court at Wimbledon,” said Medvedev, smiling. “Usually, I’d either win one or zero, so this is a record.”

The 2024 tennis season places Medvedev at a fascinating point in his career. Over the last few years, against all expectations and odds, Medvedev has established himself as the leading player of his generation, breaking through to win a major title and reach. But his pursuit of a second grand slam title has proven extremely difficult. While Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are no longer dominating every big tournament and these events are more open, he is now at risk of being surpassed by the new generation.

With so much history between them and so much more at stake, both players were sharp from the beginning of their 12th meeting. They both served efficiently throughout the set and no break points had been generated by the tie-break. Alongside the exhausting, attritional rallies in the tie-break, including a tortuous 33-stroke rally at 2-1, both players struggled with nerves. In the end, it was Sinner who handled the moment better as Medvedev double-faulted while down set point to relinquish the opening set.

Jannik Sinner was visibly struggling in the third set, walking gingerly between points. Photograph: Alberto Pezzali/AP

To his credit, Medvedev responded immediately. He broke Sinner’s serve at 1-1 opportunity and rolled through his own service games as he quickly levelled the match. By the time Medvedev led by a break in the third set, Sinner was struggling. The 22-year-old called for the trainer, who checked his temperature and provided treatment off the court.

After the match restarted, Medvedev maintained both his break and the pressure on Sinner’s shoulders, who continued to walk gingerly between points. But as he stepped up to serve for the set at 5-4, Medvedev gave back the break with an error-strewn game. From serving for the third set at 5-4, Medvedev soon faced two set points on his own serve at 5-6 as Sinner increasingly took bigger swings at the ball in order to shorten points. Medvedev weathered the storm, though, serving brilliantly in the third set tie-break.

“It’s always tricky because you want to play more points to make him suffer a little bit more – in a good way,” Medvedev on facing an ailing opponent. “At the same time, you know that he at one point is gonna say: ‘OK, I cannot run any more, so I’m gonna go full power.’ That’s what he did, he had set points in the third set. In a way, I would maybe prefer not to have this situation but everything is well when it ends well.”

Even when Sinner continued to attack and rolled through two of Medvedev’s service games to easily win the fourth set, Medvedev maintained his composure unusually well. He struck at the beginning of the fifth set, snatching an early break and then refusing to let go of his own service games. Despite striking 11 double faults and serving inconsistently during certain periods, Medvedev was solid precisely when he needed to as he marched on.



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