Australian Open: Five things to watch
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
If Rafael Nadal gets past Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the Australian Open semi-final then he may be able to exploit a weakness in Daniil Medvedev’s game. Medvedev has enjoyed a career-best performance at this year’s Australian Open having previously failed to get into the second week of the tournament.
The 25-year-old defeated Mackenzie McDonald to set up an all Russian quarter-finals match against Andrey Rublev.
Rublev had made an impressive start to the tournament having not dropped a single set ahead of his quarter-final tie.
But the 23-year-old was no match for Medvedev once again, losing in straight sets to the No 4 seed.
For Medvedev, it’s now 19 consecutive wins dating back to his Paris Masters victory back in November.
JUST IN: Novak Djokovic has already been sent Aslan Karatsev warning
He’ll be watching closely to see who out of Nadal or Tsitsipas will face him in the semi-finals on Friday when the pair face off later today.
But if Nadal does progress, the world No 2 may well consider himself the favourite after Medvedev struggled to cope with the heat inside Rod Laver Arena.
Medvedev had to grab the physio after the match to help with some bad leg cramps just so that he could stand for his post-match interview.
“I just went to the bench last game of the match and I start cramping in my quad … I had to not show it,” Medvedev said.
Watch the Australian Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport app
“Three last points getting ready for the serve I could not move my leg.”
But it was the hot weather Medvedev struggled to cope with the most, which are expected to continue into the week.
“We have had 20C to 23C maximum and you come on, quarter-final against Andrey [and it’s hot] and we had some unbelievable rallies and after the point it is tough to breathe,” he said.
Medvedev has notoriously struggled to find his best tennis in hot weather having failed to get past the first round at the French Open.
And Nadal could well exploit that in the semi-final if he advances with his tenacious style of play.
The Spaniard demands a lot from himself on the court, but in turn that also means his opponent is asked to step up their game.
Nadal and Medvedev have only faced off once before at a Grand Slam – at the 2019 US Open final – where the Russian put up a strong fight in a five-set thriller only to agonisingly lose in the end.
Medvedev did win their most recent encounter though at the ATP Tour Finals in London at the end of last year.
Source: Read Full Article