Tim Henman: Daniil Medvedev is still the man to beat



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Tim Henman: Daniil Medvedev is still the man to beat

Former British No. 1 Tim Henman was impressed by the resilience and fighting spirit Daniil Medvedev showed during his Australian Open quarterfinal match. Medvedev, ranked at No. 2, recovered from two sets down to beat Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (4) 3-6 7-6 (2) 7-5 6-4.

Medvedev will now be hoping to recover quickly for his semifinal against world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas. “An incredible performance,” Henman said in the Eurosport Cube. “The resilience from Medvedev to keep fighting… he will need to recover well for the semi-finals [against Stefanos Tsitsipas] but he is still the man to beat.

“Auger-Aliassime was ahead in so many categories; he served more aces, fewer double faults, had the better first-serve percentage, hit more winners, but the important statistic was break-point conversions and Medvedev was the one that was able to take his chances.

“It’s those very fine details that make the difference in such a close match”.

Medvedev created a big comeback

Former world No. 7 Barbara Schett thinks the roof closing at the start of the third set tie-break was one of the key factors that impacted the match.

Medvedev easily won the third set tie-break and that was the beginning of a big comeback win. “I think conditions changed dramatically,” said Schett. “It was quite warm outside but then when the roof shuts the air conditioning comes on and it’s much cooler.

That favoured Medvedev. The ball wasn’t travelling through the air as quickly and the bounce wasn’t as lively. It was a good thing for him that the roof was closed. “It was unreal the level of tennis. Medvedev actually played himself into the hearts of the fans.

They were behind him and cheering for him. What a phenomenal match, obviously sad for Auger-Aliassime but unbelievable worth ethic and mindset from Medvedev to turn it around”.