ATP

Medvedev upstaged by Dimitrov after epic Indian Wells comeback, Tsitsipas survives

By Sports Desk October 14, 2021

Daniil Medvedev was ousted from the Indian Wells Masters, the US Open champion and top seed stunned by former world number three Grigor Dimitrov in a thrilling comeback.

Dimitrov had been a set and a double break down against the Russian star on Wednesday, before launching a remarkable rally for his first win over a top-two opponent since 2016.

Meanwhile, second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and third seed Alexander Zverev both won to secure their spots in the last eight.

 

MEDVEDEV SHOCKED IN THE DESERT

Dimitrov roared back to triumph 4-6 6-4 6-3 over Medvedev, who had won 18 of his past 19 matches on North American soil.

Bulgarian star Dimitrov trailed 4-1 in the second set after dropping the opener before stunning the first-time grand slam champion midweek.

"I just felt something at 1-4 and I calmed myself down and started to take better decisions and started to control the pace of the game, which I really believed helped me," Dimitrov – the 23rd seed – said. "In the end it was just very solid and smart play."

Dimitrov finished the match with 25 winners, while he was also excellent at the net, helping him claim his first quarter-final appearance at an ATP Masters 1000 event this season.

Medvedev sent down 5-1 aces but only managed a 54 per cent first-serve percentage, while he also faced 10 break points across the match. Dimitrov won five games in a row to claim the second set.

"I don't remember myself losing three service games, even four service games ever, I guess, on hard courts," Medvedev said.

"That shows how slow this court is and the conditions, more like clay, I would say, which I don't like, because to lose serve four times is just unacceptable."

Dimitrov will face eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals after he got past Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev 6-1 6-3.

Medvedev added: "Grigor played [the] second part of the match better than anybody did against me [at the] US Open that I won. Playing this level, I don't see him losing to anybody, but let's see the result."

 

ZVEREV MAKES STATEMENT WITH MONFILS WIN

Olympic Games gold medallist Zverev bulldozed his way past 14th seed Gael Monfils 6-1-6-3 en route to the last eight.

German star Zverev claimed his 20th win from his last 21 matches, needing just over an hour to dispatch Monfils.

Zverev claimed 19 of 25 points at the net, hitting 19 winners including 11 with his forehand, while converting four of eight break points.

"I felt well on the court today. Gael is someone I haven't beaten before, so I knew had to play my best tennis and I definitely was not far away," Zverev said during his on-court interview.

Zverev will take on American 31st seed Taylor Fritz, who defeated 10th seed Jannik Sinner 6-4 6-3.

 

TSITSIPAS OUTLASTS DE MINAUR

French Open runner-up Tsitsipas saw off a tough challenge from Australian Alex de Minaur to secure his spot in the quarter-finals 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Tsitsipas fought back from a set down to win against the 22nd seed, triumphing in two hours, 43 minutes.

Greek star Tsitsipas showed grit to outlast the tiring De Minaur and will face 29th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili after he knocked off fellow seed Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

"That was incredible the way I just stayed in the match," Tsitsipas said. "I had to go through so many difficulties in order to find a solution and I executed towards the end of the match."

There were further top-10 casualties, with sixth seed Casper Ruud also bowing out 6-3 6-3 to 11th seed Diego Schwartzman, who will meet Cameron Norrie in the quarters.

Related items

  • Australian Open: Barty's variety to be tested by Collins' aggression in intriguing final Australian Open: Barty's variety to be tested by Collins' aggression in intriguing final

    Ash Barty's form at the Australian Open gives her deserved favourite status for the final, but in Danielle Collins one of the most dangerous players on the WTA Tour stands between her and history.

    Barty has ruthlessly cruised into Saturday's final – the first Australian to reach the women's singles decider in 42 years – in brilliant form.

    The two-time grand slam champion has lost just 21 games on her way to the showpiece, dropping serve just once.

    Barty, the world number one, has appeared a class above at the year's first grand slam, where she is bidding to become the first Australian singles champion since Chris O'Neil in 1978. But she faces a huge test in the final against American 27th seed Collins, who is into her first major decider.

    After three straight losses to Barty, two of which were on clay, Collins beat the Australian in straight sets in Adelaide last year in a sign of what she is capable of. Collins, who came from a break down in both sets in that win, possesses the power to threaten Barty on Rod Laver Arena.

    Barty's variety – her serve, backhand slice and ability to construct points – has been much talked about in Melbourne this year.

    Her 35 aces for the tournament are the second most, and exactly half of her first serves have been unreturned at the event, the highest percentage of any player in the women's draw. While Barty will try to unsettle Collins with her variety, the American is likely to respond with power. Collins has crushed 32 return winners at the event, a tally that is eight more than the next best.

    Collins has also delivered 164 winners to 149 unforced errors, showcasing her aggressiveness, while Barty is at 106 and 96 respectively.

    If Barty can extend the points, she will fancy her chances of a first Australian Open title. Collins has spent 10 hours, 37 minutes on court compared to Barty's 6:06, but shorter points would also suit the 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist.

    Of points between zero and eight shots this tournament, Collins has won 458 of 809 (56.6 per cent), while Barty is 331-202 (62.1). But of rallies of nine-plus shots, Collins is 23-31 compared to Barty's 30-19 at the 2022 event.

    Barty will be well aware of what Collins is capable of, but should have confidence her best is more than good enough to end Australia's long wait.

  • Australian Open: Nadal one win away from record after overcoming Berrettini Australian Open: Nadal one win away from record after overcoming Berrettini

    Rafael Nadal is a win away from a record-breaking 21st grand slam title after getting past Matteo Berrettini to reach the Australian Open final on Friday.

    Nadal overcame the Italian seventh seed 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 after two hours, 55 minutes under the Rod Laver Arena roof in their semi-final on a stormy day in Melbourne.

    The Spanish star will face either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the decider, in which he can break the record for most grand slam titles won by a man.

    Nadal had won his only previous meeting with Berrettini and he targeted the Italian's backhand from the outset, and it worked wonders.

    Berrettini, however, fought hard and forced a fourth set against Nadal, who reached his sixth Australian Open final and 29th major decider, a tally only bettered by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (31 each).

    Nadal targeted the Berrettini backhand from the start, and it helped yield a break in the second game.

    Back-to-back unforced errors from that wing, the second pulled wide, from Berrettini handed Nadal a 2-0 lead.

    That break proved to be enough for Nadal in a 43-minute opening set, closed out despite Berrettini briefly threatening in the ninth game.

    Perhaps still recovering from the disappointment of the first set, Berrettini was broken to start the second, three unforced errors – two from a forehand side that had appeared capable of doing damage to Nadal – giving the Spaniard a break point he converted with a forehand winner.

    Berrettini had no answers to Nadal's consistency and relentlessness and even his forehand was beginning to let him down as he fell 3-0 behind in the second set, a deficit he was never going to recover from.

    Nadal was unable to pull away early in the third set and instead it was Berrettini, suddenly sparked to life and looking far more energetic, who struck to break for 5-3.

    A running forehand pass down the line helped set up the break chance and Berrettini delivered a forehand winner before serving it out to love.

    Berrettini went on a run of winning 23 consecutive points on serve, but when that was ended in the eighth game of the fourth set, he found trouble.

    He saved a break point after a 23-shot rally but then netted consecutive forehands to fall 5-3 behind, Nadal closing out his victory to reach the final.

     

    DATA SLAM: Nadal showing no signs of slowing down

    Even at 35, Nadal has reached yet another grand slam final.

    He became the fifth man aged 35 or older to reach a grand slam final in the Open Era, after Federer, Ken Rosewall, Mal Anderson and Andre Agassi.

    The win over Berrettini also saw Nadal beat a top-10 player at the Australian Open for the first time since 2017.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Nadal – 28/19
    Berrettini – 38/39

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Nadal – 5/2
    Berrettini – 14/2

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Nadal – 4/8
    Berrettini – 1/2

  • Australian Open: Crowd capacity increased to 80 per cent for finals Australian Open: Crowd capacity increased to 80 per cent for finals
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.