De Minaur rallies past Medvedev, ends Australian QF drought at Roland Garros

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Alex de Minaur is a Roland Garros quarter-finalist for the first time after grinding down Daniil Medvedev on Monday in a battle between two of the fiercest competitors on the ATP Tour.

The 11th-seeded De Minaur upset fifth seed Medvedev 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 in a hard-fought encounter on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The Australian was typically resolute in defence and clinical in dispatching any short balls offered up by his higher-ranked opponent en route to improving to 3-6 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

With his two-hour, 49-minute win, De Minaur became the first Australian man to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros since former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in 2004.

“I want to say thank you to everyone,” said De Minaur (in French) at his post-match interview. “It’s an incredible atmosphere. For me, I didn’t hope to be here in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros because me, on terre battue (clay), I didn’t play very well in the past years.”

The way the match ended, with Medvedev gifting De Minaur victory with a double-fault, was in stark contrast to the start the former World No. 1 made in his bid to reach a fourth consecutive major quarter-final. The No. 5 in the PIF ATP Rankings broke De Minaur’s serve in the third game of the match and went on to clinch the opening set, but the match turned on its head mid-way through the second.

De Minaur notched his first break of the match for 3-2 before Medvedev called a medical time-out at the changeover and received treatment for blisters on his right foot. While his movement did not appear to be hindered by the issue, his level dropped and De Minaur took control of the match by racing to the second and then third sets.

Medvedev immediately reclaimed an early break to level at 1-1 in the fourth set and the match seemed set for an intriguing climax, but De Minaur soon made another charge on return. He reeled off four games in a row from 2-3 to seal a victory in which he converted seven of 14 break points he earned, according to Infosys Stats.

Now into his second Grand Slam quarter-final after he reached the same stage at the 2020 US Open, De Minaur will take on fourth seed Alexander Zverev or 13th seed Holger Rune next in Paris. The 25-year-old is now 29-10 for the season, a tally which includes winning his eighth ATP Tour title in Acapulco.

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