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Australian Open 2024: Daniil Medvedev beats Hubert Hurkacz to reach semis

By Vincent Ashitey
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Two-time Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev used his greater experience deep in a Grand Slam to beat Polish ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz for a place in this year's semi-finals.

Russian third seed Medvedev won 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 in the ninth major quarter-final of his career.

Hurkacz, in only his second quarter-final, fought back to level but Medvedev edged the decider to progress.

Medvedev is aiming for a second major title after winning the 2021 US Open.

He will play either Carlos Alcaraz or Alexander Zverev, who meet later on Wednesday, in Friday's semi-finals.

"I feel a bit destroyed right now," said Medvedev, who clinched victory in just under four hours.

"He played good, I won't be tough on myself. I just had to try and do whatever I could. If I lose, I lose, it's OK."

Medvedev digs deep to neutralise Hurkacz

While Alcaraz and Zverev are ultimately aiming for their first Melbourne final, Medvedev already has that experience, having been runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2021 and Rafael Nadal in 2022.

Now he is one more victory away from a third shot at the title after seeing off Hurkacz.

Hurkacz is one of the finest servers in the game but Medvedev is one of the best returners - teeing up an intriguing duel between the pair.

Medvedev struck first by breaking the Pole's serve early in the match but Hurkacz quickly recovered, before the Russian took control of the tie-break for the advantage.

With conditions again hot in Melbourne, Medvedev's level dropped in the second set as Hurkacz picked up the pace in his groundstrokes as he moved level.

Medvedev recovered strongly at the start of third. Breaking confidently for 2-0, and digging deep to saving five points in the games either side, was enough to regain his lead.

Another masterful returning game saw Medvedev go a break up early in the fourth and the contest looked to be heading towards a straightforward conclusion.

However, to the delight of the many Polish fans on Rod Laver Arena, Hurkacz hit back.

Rediscovering his confidence, the 2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist forced more mistakes from Medvedev and won five of the next six games to take the contest to a decider.

Neither player was troubled on serve in the opening six games until Hurkacz's backhand was worn down by Medvedev and the Russian put away a volley on his first break point.

Still, it was not a simple ending. Medvedev faced another break point at 4-3, ducking under Hurkacz's long return as he served and volleyed, then finally secured victory with a cute drop-shot on his first match point.