Medvedev ends 5-set futility, makes 4th round

Daniil Medvedev finally worked out how to a win a five-setter. All by himself.

The fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev was 0-6 in five-setters, and his match against No. 28-seeded Filip Krajinovic looked like it was going all the way in the third round of the Australian Open.

After some angry outbursts from an increasingly animated and chatty Medvedev directed at his box in an otherwise empty Rod Laver Arena, his coach, Gilles Cervara got up and left.

“He said just before leaving that he’s sure I’m going to win the match. He’s going to leave me alone to be more calm,” Medvedev explained in his post-match, on-court TV interview after Saturday’s 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0 win. “It was a good thing to do. Luckily I won.”

Medvedev had been bothered by a problem with his upper left leg and left the court with a trainer for a medical timeout late in the fourth set.

While he was falling behind in that set, Medvedev yelled after dropping a point: “Unbelievable! This is unbelievable!”

When he fell behind 5-2 in the fourth, Medvedev shouted, “I never saw something like this!”

He returned to play much better in the deciding set, smacking an inside-out forehand winner to a corner to close an 18-stroke exchange and break to go up 2-0.

He didn’t drop another game as he seized the momentum back from Krajinovic, who was previously 4-1 in matches that went the full five sets.

“In contrast with previous matches where I could get tight … here I was really calm to finish the match,” Medvedev said. “Really happy I got the five-set win.”

The win stretched Medvedev’s winning streak to 17 matches, including his successful run to the title at the 2020 season-ending ATP Finals.

Medvedev, the U.S. Open finalist last year, will next play Mackenzie McDonald, the unseeded American who beat Lloyd Harris in straight sets to equal his best Grand Slam result by reaching the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

McDonald is a former top-60 player, but his ranking fell to No. 272 last year after he was sidelined for seven months by a hamstring injury. His ranking is back up to No. 192.

In other men’s matches, fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas easily got past Mikael Ymer 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Next up for Tsitsipas is the winner of a third-round match between No. 9 Matteo Berrettini and Karen Khachanov.

No. 7 Andrey Rublev beat Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-2, 6-3, setting up a fourth-round match against 24th-seeded Casper Ruud, a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 winner over Radu Albot.

No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal was to continue his quest for a men’s-record 21st major title Saturday night against Cameron Norrie.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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