On Friday, Daniil Medvedev advanced to the final of the Australian Open for the third time in his career by overcoming long-term opponent Alexander Zverev by a score of 5-7, 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-3. This would be the fourth time in his career that he had come back from a two-sets-to-love deficit.
Medvedev was two points away from losing in the fourth-set tie-break, but he maintained his composure and eventually advanced to his sixth Slam title match after a four-hour and 18-minute epic inside of a lively Rod Laver Arena. This was the 19th time that the two players had met, but it was the first time that they had done so at a major tournament.
“First set honestly I think we both didn’t play that good,” Medvedev told reporters. It seemed to me that I played a little bit better in the second set than I did in the first set. My opportunities on his serve were limited, but he played extremely well, achieving a score of 6-3 with two breaks.
In spite of the fact that I was a little bit confused, I made a statement during the third set that I was going to be proud of myself even if I ended up losing this match. I want to fight till the very end, and if I lose, I will lose. If I am successful, I will be very proud of myself when I do win.
MEDVEDEV MADNESS 💥
— ATP Tour (@atptour) January 26, 2024
The winner of the 2021 US Open, who now holds a 12-7 edge over Zverev in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series, will be looking to win his second major title when he faces the Italian Jannik Sinner on Sunday. Sinner, the fourth seed, recently overcame Novak Djokovic, the record-holder for the most times he has won a major title, in four sets.
“Impressive,” Medvedev, when asked about Sinner’s run, stated in response to it. When it came to the tie-break, he was 1/5 against Andrey [Rublev], and he ended up winning the tie-break instead.
Novak, who had a perfect record in the semi-finals on these courts, was defeated, which is a really outstanding feat. It is imperative that I make a full recovery and be at my best on Sunday.
It was difficult for the third-ranked player in the world to establish his best level throughout the first two sets of the match. Zverev was able to outlast his opponent who was deep-lying during the arduous baseline exchanges.
Despite this, the twenty-time tour-level champion did not give up and dug his heels in more than ever before. He had Zverev hit an additional ball during rallies, while at the same time he stepped forward more frequently in order to drag the German against him.
The percentage of his first serves that he struck increased from fifty percent in the first two sets to seventy-one percent in the third and final set. Additionally, he hit twenty-two more wins in the final three sets compared to the first two sets.
Medvedev, on the other hand, has demonstrated a wealth of grit throughout his career, and he refused to give up in the third set. While the set was moving into a tie-break, the third-ranked player in the world played with a greater degree of aggression, hitting 19 winners and making only five unforced errors.
Medvedev increased his depth and precision from the fourth point of the match, and he found the corners to drag Zverev around and win the set.
After the fourth set went to a tie-break once more, Medvedev gave Zverev the lead by hitting a double fault at 4/4.
This allowed Zverev the opportunity to win the match. Medvedev, however, was able to tie the score by winning the final three points of the set, including a mishit return drop shot winner at 5/5. The German was unable to capitalize on this opportunity.
Zverev was broken twice by Medvedev in the fifth set, and Medvedev converted his first match chance. There was not much that separated the two players at that time. After achieving a remarkable victory, the player who holds the third spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings raised his arms to the heavens.