• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sport

Medvedev beats world No. 1 Sinner in 5 sets to reach Wimbledon semis

Medvedev’s triumph marks his ninth Grand Slam semi-final appearance and his best performance at Wimbledon, equalling last year’s result where he lost to Alcaraz.

Medvedev, who won the US Open in 2021, will now face Alcaraz in the semis. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Shailesh Solanki

DANIIL MEDVEDEV finally ended his five-match losing streak against Jannik Sinner as he defeated the world number one in a gripping five-set match on Tuesday, securing his place in the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second consecutive year.

Medvedev’s perseverance and strategic play led him to a 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3 victory, avenging his Australian Open final loss to the Italian earlier this year, where he had squandered a two-set lead.

Medvedev’s triumph marks his ninth Grand Slam semi-final appearance and his best performance at Wimbledon, equalling last year’s result where he lost to Carlos Alcaraz. The 28-year-old Russian, who won the US Open in 2021, will now face Alcaraz for a place in Sunday’s final.

Reflecting on his win, Medvedev acknowledged the challenge posed by Sinner. “I knew if I wanted to beat Jannik, it needed to be a tough match. He’s not a guy you can beat easily anymore,” Medvedev said. “I felt at one moment he was not feeling that good, but he started feeling better, so I’m happy I managed to still stay at a high level.”

Medvedev beats world No. 1 Sinner in 5 sets to reach Wimbledon semis
Medvedev plays a forehand against Sinner in the quarter-final. (Photo: Getty Images)

The first set saw both players holding their serve without offering a single break point. Medvedev took an early lead in the tie-break, buoyed by a 33-shot rally, but his game faltered as he double-faulted, allowing Sinner to seize the opening set.

Medvedev rebounded in the second set, breaking Sinner’s serve in the third game to level the match. The third set saw a dramatic turn when Sinner, trailing 2-1, called for medical attention due to apparent distress. After a 10-minute medical timeout, during which Sinner had his blood pressure taken courtside, the Italian returned and bravely fought back to 5-5. However, Medvedev capitalised on two missed set points by Sinner to win the tie-break.

In the fourth set, Sinner dominated, breaking Medvedev’s serve twice to force a decider. Despite appearing groggy earlier, Sinner regained his form, winning 12 of the 16 points. The match ultimately turned in the fifth set when Medvedev secured an early break and maintained his composure to clinch the victory after four hours of play.

Medvedev beats world No. 1 Sinner in 5 sets to reach Wimbledon semis
Sinner returns a shot against Medvedev during their men’s singles quarter-final match. (Photo: Getty Images)

“It’s always tricky because you want to play more points to make him suffer a bit more, but in a good way,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev’s journey at Wimbledon this year is part of a broader pattern of success in 2024. He reached the round of 16 at Roland Garros and performed well in other tournaments, including runner-up finishes at the Australian Open and Indian Wells-1000.

Medvedev, who became world number one on 28 February 2022, breaking the ‘Big 4’ monopoly on the top ranking, is keen to reclaim his spot. He held the number-one ranking for 16 weeks but has since faced stiff competition. Despite his success, Medvedev is focused on improvement, particularly his serving on grass courts. “You serve aces, you serve on the line, you’re less in trouble, and you feel better,” he said.

Daniil demolished this forehand 😮‍💨#Wimbledon | @DaniilMedwed pic.twitter.com/kBintxE6DN

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2024

On the other side, Jannik Sinner’s performance at Wimbledon this year, though marked by a mid-match health scare, continues to build on his impressive 2024 season. Sinner, who won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open by defeating Medvedev, has shown remarkable resilience and skill. His victory in Halle and strong performances in other tournaments have solidified his status as a top contender.

Sinner became the first Italian player to reach the singles world number one ranking last month.

With a record of 20 tour-level titles won at 20 different events, as Medvedev prepares for his semi-final match, he remains focused on his goal of winning a second Grand Slam title.

(With inputs from AFP and Reuters)

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