World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev defeated compatriot Andrey Rublev in straight sets on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the Australian Open. That made Medvedev the second Russian to reach the last four of the year's first Major, following Arslan Karatsev's stunning win over Grigor Dimitrov a day earlier.
Daniil Medvedev and Arslan Karatsev, who were on the same Russian squad that won the ATP Cup earlier this month, could theoretically face off in Sunday's final. That is a possibility Medvedev is hoping to come to pass, but he knows it is far from being a done deal.
“If we’ll have a Russian final, it’s just gonna be a dream come true but we’re also gonna have quite tough matches and tough opponents," Medvedev said after his win. “I’m so happy for Aslan, he made history."
Aslan Karatsev will take on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the first men's semi-final on Thursday. Daniil Medvedev, meanwhile, is awaiting the winner of the Rafael Nadal vs Stefanos Tsitsipas quarterfinal.
Medvedev expects his semifinal to be a tough one, irrespective of who he faces. The 25-year-old is 5-1 lifetime against Tsitsipas, but 1-3 versus the Spaniard.
“Really happy that I can watch such a match (referring to the Nadal-Tsitsipas QF),” Medvedev added. “[It’s] not going to be easy no matter who wins.”
I'm one of the few players to make Andrey that tired and I'm quite happy about it: Daniil Medvedev on his semifinal performance
Daniil Medvedev is the hottest player on the men's tour right now, with 19 consecutive wins. That streak spans titles at the Paris Masters, the Nitto ATP Finals and the ATP Cup, and includes 11 wins over top 10 players.
Andrey Rublev has been one of the other more successful players on the ATP Tour over the past year. The 23-year-old grabbed five titles in 2020 and qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals for the first time in his career.
Rublev improved his ranking from No. 23 last January to No. 8 at the end of the year, and would have been ranked much higher if the 52-week ranking system was in effect. Beating such a high-quality opponent left Medvedev delighted with his own performance, and the World No. 4 called his quarterfinal win one of his 'best matches' in recent times.
“I think I’m one of the few players to make Andrey that tired and I’m quite happy about it,” said Medvedev. “I know how to neutralise his amazing big shots [and] that was definitely one of the best matches I played lately, not only here but even last year."
"This match is really unbelievable because he was playing really good," he added. "I managed to beat him in three sets even without a tiebreak, and I’m really happy about it.”