Watch: Medvedev and Zverev's 51-Shot Rally Sets Rod Laver Arena Ablaze

Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev embraced many extended rallies in Melbourne

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Medvedev and Zverev's 51-Shot Rally Sets Rod Laver Arena Ablaze
© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev embraced a mouth-watering rally in the Australian Open semi-final, exchanging 51 strokes in the 12th game of the opening set. Alexander claimed it with a crafty half-volley winner, making the crowd at Rod Laver Arena erupt in joy.

The German won the most extended rally but not the match, with the Russian performing an incredible comeback and earning a 5-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3 triumph after four hours and 18 minutes. Zverev forged a massive advantage and missed a chance to emerge at the top in sets three and four after losing both tie breaks.

Medvedev gained a boost and broke the rival's resistance in the decider, moving into his sixth Major final. Daniil made a fresh start in the third set, serving well and facing no break points in the rest of the duel.

Daniil Medvedev© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Alexander stayed in touch in sets three and four, failing to move over the top and experiencing another blow at Majors.

Medvedev held at love in the encounter's first game before Zverev took charge, winning 16 of the next 18 points and forging a 4-1 advantage after the rival's double fault in game five. Daniil pulled one break back in game six and extended the set with a hold at 3-5.

Alexander served for the opener in game ten and missed a couple of forehands to bring his rival back to 5-5. The German stayed calm and clinched his third break in game 11 with a lob winner, serving for the opener in the next one.

The 12th game saw more drama and that incredible 51-shot exchange. Zverev denied two break points and landed a volley winner for 7-5 and a boost.

Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev played a 51-shot rally in Melbourne.

Alexander landed in 74% of the first serve in the second set, producing four fine holds and breaking Daniil two times for a massive advantage.

Zverev converted the fourth break chance at 2-2 with a forced error and held in the next one for 4-2. Daniil served to stay in the set in game nine and played a loose forehand, losing serve for the second time and falling two sets to love behind.

The Russian raised his level in the third set, serving well in six games and creating three break points. The German denied them and reached a tie break, hoping to seal the deal in straight sets. Medvedev earned a mini-break in the ninth point and welcomed Zverev's massive forehand error for 6-4 and two set points.

Daniil clinched the breaker 7-4 after a forced error, extending the battle and his chances.

Alexander Zverev© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

They served well in 11 games of the fourth set. Zverev denied two break points in the eighth game and reached a tie break, having another chance to wrap up the duel and move into his second Major final.

Daniil sprayed a double fault in the ninth point, pushing his rival two points away from the finish line. The Russian attacked in the tenth point and pulled the mini-break back for 5-5. Medvedev landed a lucky return winner in the 11th point and seized the first set point with an ace, forcing a decider after three hours and 40 minutes.

They served well early on for 2-2 before Zverev faced issues at 2-2. The 6th seed played a loose forehand on the third break point to fall behind and diminish his chances. Medvedev cemented the lead with a hold at 30 in game six after Zverev's volley error at the net and opened a 5-3 advantage with a service winner two games later.

Alexander fired two winners at 0-30 before offering Daniil a match point after a loose backhand. The German played a wayward forehand on the first, sending the Russian over the top and experiencing a massive blow.

Rod Laver Arena Alexander Zverev Daniil Medvedev