Daniil Medvedev, 3rd in the world and winner of the tournament in 2021, qualified for the semi-finals of the US Open on Wednesday by beating his Russian compatriot Andrey Rublev (8th) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 at the end of a grueling duel. "It was brutal... The only positive thing is that in these conditions both players suffer," said Medvedev.
In the Arthur-Ashe court oven, the two players hit like mules and ran like hell for 2:48. “At the end of the second set, I hardly saw the ball and I was playing, like him, on instinct. He never lets go … but he knows that neither do I”, commented the former world N.1 who noted his level of play of the day: “10 out of 10”.
At 27, the Russian, who lost in the round of 16 last year, will face defending champion Carlos Alcaraz (1st) or 2020 finalist Alexander Zverev (12th) on Friday for a place in the final.
With now 54 wins since the start of the season, Medvedev is the second most successful player in 2023, behind Alcaraz who has won 57 matches before his evening quarter-final against Zverev. On hard courts, so far no one has done better this season than Medvedev and his 37 victories (4 titles in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, and Miami).
Since 2018, he is the most rewarded player on hard court with 18 titles including the US Open 2021, 27 finals including the US Open 2019 and the Australian Open 2021 and 2022, and 233 matches won.
For his part, Rublev was playing his ninth Grand Slam quarter-final, the fourth at Flushing Meadows and the third in four Majors this year (after the Australian Open and Wimbledon). He has never made it to the semis yet.
On Wednesday, Medvedev completely missed his start to the match: he scored only one of the first thirteen points and quickly found himself trailing 3-0. But he recovered at 3-3 and broke to lead 5-3 and serve for the set, pocketed in 33 minutes.
On his way, he snatched the first game of the second set on the service of Rublev. But on two consecutive double faults, he offered the break to his opponent. Led 3-1, Medvedev lined up five games to win the second set, not without a small physical alert in the middle of the set.
At the change of sides at 4-3, he indeed called the doctor who oscultated him before giving him an inhaler. Medvedev called the doctor again after being broken (1-2) in the third set and again resorted to the inhaler.
In this last round, the players exchanged services twice before Medvedev won the last game of the meeting, on the service of Rublev who saved four match points before sending the ball into the net on the fifth.