Daniil Medvedev is still in with a chance of winning a second consecutive slam. The No. 2 seed was the tournament favourite upon Novak Djokovic’s enforced withdrawal and has lived up to his end of the bargain by getting this far. He is 6-2 against semi-final opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is in the last four in Melbourne for the third time in four years.
Tsitsipas’ dominant quarter final win against Jannik Sinner came in large part due to an excellent serving performance from the Greek. He was never troubled in a service game and faced a deuce point just once in the 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory. “I am very, very happy with the way I served today and the way I came in and used my tactics in today’s match structure. Having the crowd support is truly unbelievable.” he said afterwards. Closing the roof halfway through did help both players with their serving but it was only Tsitsipas that could make inroads on return.
Medvedev had to dig deep to earn his spot in the semi finals, saving match point on his way to making a comeback from two sets to love down against Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Russian hit one of his biggest serves of the match on that point, one of many occasions he won key points within the match. This can be seen clearer in the break point stats, especially in the decider. Medvedev took his sole break point opportunity early on to completely turn the match on it’s head, having saved three of his own in the previous game at *0-1.
“I’m going to try to recover as well as possible, to be ready to play against Stefanos, because he’s a great player, I need to be at my best to beat him.” Medvedev said of his opponent. The Russian will be a comfortable favourite to win this one with the match up on hard courts working well in his favour. Medvedev’s ability to defend remains extraordinary for a man of his height but he also knows when to pick up the tempo and play more aggressive. The difference in temperament for Medvedev between now and his early stages as an elite player is staggering. He carries himself like a champion and the clutch play under pressure is a key part of that.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in four sets