For Russian tennis fans, the Australian Open turned out to be extremely pleasant – of course, if we talk about the men’s part of the competition. Our athletes are breaking record after record.
A few days ago Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev set an achievement – never before the 4th round of the Australian Open did three Russians reach at once. Yes, and at other tournaments “Grand Slam” this has not happened for 15 years. But now this result has been surpassed: at the 2021 Australian Open, three Russians will play at once in the quarter-finals.
AiF.ru has already reported about the exploits of 27-year-old Karatsev, who became the main sensation of the tournament. The tennis player, who was not included in the first hundred of the world rankings before the start of the Australian Open, is now awaiting the quarterfinal match against the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov…
At the press conference Karatsev said: “It feels great, but I try to focus more on the tournament and matches. Did you surprise yourself? I try not to show it. ”
On the eve of the Australian Open, Aslan, as part of the Russian national team, won the team ATP Сup. The main heroes of the Russian team there were Medvedev and Rublev, who have now progressed to the top eight in a parallel course with their teammate.
Angry Medvedev “broke” everyone
In the world ranking, Medvedev is in 4th place, Rublev – in 8th, so reaching the quarterfinals for both formally was a confirmation of the current level. But as they say, the theory – this is one thing, but practice is completely different.
The tournament grid was drawn up in such a way that the quarterfinals were supposed to be the likely intersection of the two best Russian tennis players.
Medvedev in the first round confidently coped with the Canadian Vasek Pospisil – 6: 2, 6: 2, 6: 4, then defeated the Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baenu – 6: 2, 7: 5, 6: 1.
In the 3rd circle, Daniil was opposed by a Serb Philip Krainovich, and this far from being the most titled player almost became a stumbling block for the Russian. Having won the first two sets (6: 3, 6: 3), Medvedev suddenly “swam” – he stopped hitting light balls, got nervous, yelled at the coach, and in addition to this he also got a slight stretch. As a result, the Serb won the third and fourth sets – 6: 4, 6: 3. Given that the Russian had never won five-set matches before, it became really alarming. Fortunately, the best Russian tennis player pulled himself together in time, winning the decisive set dry – 6: 0.
The shake helped Daniel, and the 4th round duel against the American McKenzie at McDonald’s developed much easier for him. The Russian confidently won in three sets – 6: 4, 6: 2, 6: 3. At a press conference, Medvedev said: “The first quarterfinal in Australia is an excellent achievement. Of course, I want more, but I have to go step by step. Now, of course, I will be rooting for Andrey (Rublev – approx. AiF.ru), because this way one Russian will definitely be in the semifinals. “
The judge advised Rublev to relax. Andrey obeyed, and he succeeded
At first glance, Rublev’s path at the 2021 Australian Open was easier than that of his compatriot. Although it was not without small roughness. In the first round match against a German Yannick Hanfmann the Russian entered into a polemic with the judge, to which he replied: “If everything is so obvious, of course, I will appoint one more serve. You are kind of tense. Relax a little. “
The advice helped – Andrey, having relaxed, coped with the opponent in three sets with the score 6: 3, 6: 3, 6: 4. In the second round, Rublev got the Brazilian Thiago Monteiro, who was able to impose a fight on the Russian, but this did not prevent our athlete from winning in three sets – 6: 4, 6: 4, 7: 6.
The third opponent of Andrey was the 39-year-old Spaniard Feliciano Lopez… The veteran veteran is on friendly terms with the Russian, but friendship is friendship, and service – Rublev won with a score of 7: 5, 6: 2, 6: 3.
The last barrier on the way to the meeting with Medvedev was the representative of Norway Casper Ruud… Andrei played with Kasper twice before and won in both meetings, although not without problems.
In the first set of this fight Rublev played very confidently, taking him in half an hour with a score of 6: 2. The Russian started the second set just as well, leading it 3: 1, but then suddenly there was a failure. Having lost four games in a row, Andrei allowed Ruud to go to serve on the set. However, the current Rublev has enough skill to deploy a meeting even in such a “fire” situation. Having won back the serve, the Russian leveled the position, and it came to a tie-break, where the class of our athlete was already undeniable – 7: 6 (7: 3).
At this point the match ended, as Ruud refused to continue the struggle, citing indisposition.
The second Russian derby in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam tournament
Thus, the Russian quarterfinals at the 2021 Australian Open became a reality. Moreover, we are gradually getting used to Russian derbies at such a high stage of the Grand Slam tournaments. At the US Open, Medvedev had already met Rublev in the quarterfinals, and then Daniil took over. True, then Medvedev lost in the semifinals to the Austrian Dominic Tim, who eventually became the owner of the main trophy.
Andrei at a press conference, speaking about the upcoming fight with Medvedev, noted: “At least one of us will make it to the semifinals. It’s good. But the match will be tough, he beat me in the US Open quarterfinals. Now we are in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. I hope we will show an excellent match, an excellent level, and there will be a great fight. Let’s see what happens. “
Of course, there is a slight feeling of regret that our guys are not dating in the final. But if they continue to play the way they did in late 2020 – early 2021, then such finals will not go away from them.
By the way, the Russian final in Australia is theoretically still possible. After all, Aslan “Lionheart” Karatsev is in the other half of the tournament grid, which means that he can reach a meeting with someone from the Medvedev-Rublev pair.
Yes, it will already be pure Hollywood. But until the quarterfinal matches are played, you can enjoy the moment and dream a little. Fortunately, the Russians this time gave an excellent reason for this.