Medvedev beats Rublev to reach semis

Melbourne, Feb 17 (AP): Here’s how uncomfortably hot it was during Daniil Medvedev’s Australian Open quarterfinal victory over Andrey Rublev: The winner needed to get a massage for cramping in his left thigh before he could stand up for his on-court TV interview.
The No. 4-seeded Medvedev moved into the third Grand Slam semifinal of his career and pushed his current winning streak to 19 matches by beating good pal Rublev 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday.
Medvedev said he had a hard time moving his left leg on the last three points while serving out the victory, and he could tell Rublev was cramping, too. A couple of times during a crucial portion of the second set, Rublev went over to a courtside box meant to hold the players’ towels and plopped himself down in the shade for a breather. It was not easy, Medvedev said.
The all-Russian matchup only lasted about two hours, but it was still a struggle, with so many lengthy baseline back-and-forths one particularly grueling point contained 44 strokes, including the serve and the mid-afternoon sun carrying the temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (near 30 degrees Celsius).
We had some unbelievable rallies, and after the point, it’s tough to breathe,” said Medvedev, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the 2019 U.S. Open and also a semifinalist on New York’s hard courts last year after beating Rublev in the quarters. Actually, Medvedev said, with a wry smile, I think I am one of the first players to make Andrey that tired on the court, so I’m quite happy about it.
On Friday night, Medvedev will face Nadal or Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in the Australian Open final.
Nadal and Tsitsipas were scheduled to play the last men’s quarterfinal later Wednesday.
The other men’s semifinal will be No. 1 Novak Djokovic against 114th-ranked Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev. The 27-year-old Karatsev is playing in the main draw of a major tournament for the first time, and he’s the only man in the professional era to make it to the semifinals of his Grand Slam debut.

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