Daniil Medvedev: Winning the crowd at Aussie Open

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As Daniil Medvedev sat courtside trying to re-hydrate during a changeover, an image of nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic flashed up in the stadium behind him.

It was in the third set on Saturday, and it was like the absent No. 1 was looking over the shoulder of the player who is effectively the No. 1 seed at the year’s first Grand Slam tournament.

Medvedev, who lost last year’s Australian Open final to Djokovic but avenged that with a victory over the Serb for the U.S. Open title, reached the fourth round for the fourth straight year at Melbourne Park with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Botic van de Zandschulp. The 25-year-old Russian was a conspicuous fan favorite on Margaret Court Arena, too, two days after being unsettled by the boos and jeers of a parochial crowd on Rod Laver Arena when he ended the run of mercurial Aussie Nick Kyrgios.

He was critical of a lack of respect in that match — mostly about the noise between first and second serves — and this time offered some relationship advice to the crowd.

“Every good relationship must have its ups and downs,” he said in his on-court TV interview, explaining that he planned to be back on court quite often in the future. “I hope it’s going to be more good times than bad times, otherwise it doesn’t work.” Medvedev later clarified he didn’t have a problem with the Australian crowds and had been fully expecting to have them against him when he played Kyrgios — just not while he was in his service motion.

“The other night I was playing against an Australian player, very electric Australian player,” he said. “After the match, I think it was, yeah, straightaway pretty actually fun for everybody.

“That’s how I felt, and I didn’t see actually a lot of let’s say negative reactions.”

Medvedev avoided a showdown with Djokovic after the world’s top-ranked player had his visa canceled and was deported on the eve of the tournament for failing to meet Australia’s strict Covid-19 vaccination criteria.

HALEP FIRES WARNING

Fit-again Simona Halep said she was in “a good spot” and feeling no pressure as she stepped up a level to crush the dreams of Emma Raducanu’s conqueror Danka Kovinic and power into the last 16.

The two-time Grand Slam winner drew on all her experience to sweep past the 98th-ranked Montenegrin 6-2, 6-1 and ensure her participation in the second week for a fifth consecutive year in Melbourne.

She will now play French veteran Alize Cornet, who celebrated her 32nd birthday by beating 29th seed Tamara Zidansek 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 on the back of her stunning upset of world number three Garbine Muguruza in round two.

The Romanian Halep is on her way back after a calf tear scuttled her mid-season in 2021 and saw her briefly fall outside the top 20 for the first time since 2013.


CONFUSED TSITSIPAS BEATS PAIRE


Stefanos Tsitsipas staved off the incendiary Benoit Paire to reach the fourth round after a tough 6-3 7-5 6-7(2) 6-4 but was oblivious that he had won after converting match point. Paire dunked a forehand into the net on the first of three match points on a steamy afternoon at Rod Laver Arena, but fourth seed Tsitsipas walked to the back of the court rather than approach the net as fans cheered in the terraces. The Greek turned on his heel with surprise on his face when the result was called over the loudspeaker by the chair umpire. He then jogged forward to acknowledge Paire before bounding around the court with a proper celebration.


CILIC STUNS RUBLEV


Former finalist Marin Cilic ended fifth seed Andrey Rublev’s hopes with an upset four-set victory to reach the fourth round.

The experienced Croatian, seeded 27, knocked out the Russian 7-5, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-3 in 2hr 36min on Margaret Court Arena to book a place in the last 16. It will be 33-year-old Cilic’s eighth time in the fourth round at the Australian Open, where he was a beaten finalist to Roger Federer in 2018 after overcoming Rafael Nadal in the quarters.

Cilic will face Canada’s ninth seed Felix AugerAliassime for a place in the quarter-finals.

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Source: The Economic Times
(This is an auto-generated article from syndicated news feed. TEAM BEPINKU.COM may not have modified or edited the article).

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