Medvedev, Rublev Prevail As Australian Open Quarterfinals Are Set

Daniil Medvedev (photo: Rob Prezioso/Tennis Australia)

MELBOURNE, February 15, 2021

No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev booked his spot into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the first time after a commanding 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Mackenzie McDonald on Monday. Medvedev’s long winning streak came under serious threat in the third round on Saturday as he was pushed the distance by Filip Krajinovic, but the 24-year-old Russian ultimately recorded his first victory in a five-set clash and extended his winning streak to 17 consecutive matches.

His win against the 25-year-old US-American on Margaret Court Arena was much more straightforward. Medvedev struck 29 winners to prevail after one hour and 29 minutes.

“When you play Mackenzie, many times he’s going to be in control of the games and you just need to defend,” Medvedev said. “I knew that I needed to play a lot of low balls, because he plays really flat and aggressive. If you give him high balls, he’s going to try to destroy them. That’s what he did in a few moments.

“I was just trying to stay as much as possible in the points… and I managed to take all my chances today.” 

Up next for Medvedev will be his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who booked his first Australian Open quarterfinal berth without dropping a set as Casper Ruud retired with an abdominal injury. The World No. 8 was leading 6-2, 7-6(3) after one hour and 17 minutes when the No. 24-seeded Norwegian was forced to stop playing.

“At least one of us [Russian players] will be in the semis,” Rublev said in his post-match interview. “At least that’s the good news. But it’s going to be a tough match. I mean, last time he beat me in the quarters in the US Open. Now we’re again in quarters in the Australian Open. So we’ll see what’s going to happen. I hope we can show a great fight and great level.”

Medvedev has won all of his three previous meetings with Rublev. Both will join qualifier Aslan Karatsev in the stage of the final eight, making it the first time in the Open Era that three Russian men have reached the quarterfinals in the same Grand Slam. Karatsev is the lowest ranked player in 30 years to reach the final eight at the Australian Open, and the first player since 1993 to do so in a main draw debut. He is up against World No. 21 Grigor Dimitrov.

Nadal to face Tsitsipas

Later in the day, Rafael Nadal stayed on course for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title after sweeping aside Fabio Fognini of Italy to reach his 13th Australian Open quarterfinal. The World No. 2 from Spain eased to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

“The first set without a doubt has been my best level in the tournament. It’s normal, too, because I was able to practise for two days in a row. That makes an important difference,” Nadal said.

“But, at the same time, it’s important to find positive feelings now. My physical condition needs to keep improving. But I think this match helps, too.”

Nadal will next play Stefanos Tsitsipas after No. 9 Matteo Berrettini of Italy was forced to withdraw from his match against the Greek with an abdominal strain. Berrettini suffered the injury during his win against Russian Karen Khachanov in the third round.