Daniil Medvedev stops Chris Eubanks run in five-set thriller

By Sports Desk July 12, 2023

Daniil Medvedev delivered the knockout blow on Chris Eubanks’ remarkable Wimbledon run by booking a semi-final spot with a thrilling five-set win.

World number 43 Eubanks looked set to once again punch above his weight in south-west London after leading the 2021 US Open champion 2-1 going into a fourth-set tie-break.

But third seed Medvedev battled back to win 6-4 1-6 4-6 7-6 (4) 6-1 under the Court One roof.

The Russian, who smashed 28 aces across a match lasting almost three hours, progressed to the last four at the Championships for the first time where he will face world number one Carlos Alcaraz.

“After the first set, for sure I didn’t want to go five,” he said. “When I lost the third, I wanted to go five!

“There was a moment in the match where I completely lost the game itself and he played well. I started to sink, I started to do a lot of mistakes, not serving well enough.

“But starting from the tie-break I managed to play amazing and I’m really happy about it.”

The defeated Eubanks arrived at SW19 with just two grand slam wins to his name and a dislike of playing on grass despite winning a title on the surface in Mallorca in June.

Shock victories over British number one Cameron Norrie and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas helped turn the surface into his “best friend” but he was quickly on the ropes on Wednesday after successive double faults gifted Medvedev an early break which ultimately decided the opening set.

Big serves and booming baseline exchanges interspersed with finesse at the net were the order of the day.

Backed by the majority of a captivated capacity crowd, including compatriot Coco Gauff, the charismatic Eubanks swiftly responded.

He raised the roof by clinching a couple of crucial breaks en route to a 29-minute second-set demolition before seizing the initiative with a third on the bounce at the start of set three.

Medvedev appeared stunned by the swift reversal in fortunes and, eager to bring some spectators on side, had raised his hands to ears following a sublime backhand winner.

Yet the 27-year-old became the pantomime villain after receiving a warning for hitting a dead ball towards courtside photographers and then continuing to dispute the decision of the umpire.

Eubanks followed up the minor quarrel with a majestic forehand winner and maintained the momentum to go 2-1 up, prompting chants of ‘USA, USA’ from the stands.

But Medvedev has never lost on this court and was not about to roll over.

The world number three, whose overall record at the All England Club is relatively uninspiring, was almost flawless throughout the fourth set, albeit unable to capitalise on a pair of break points as proceedings raced towards a tie-break.

Having gradually become the better player, classy Medvedev dug in to deservedly take the contest the distance.

The enthusiastic Eubanks appeared slightly deflated at being hauled back from the cusp of victory and a poor final set in which he failed to hold serve on three occasions and squandered two break points proved fatal.

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