Australian Open: Medvedev fights back to win five-set thriller against Auger-Aliassime

By Sports Desk January 26, 2022

Daniil Medvedev came from two sets down to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime and reach the Australian Open semi-final.

The world number two battled to a 6-7 (4-7) 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 6-4 victory in a thrilling contest on Rod Laver Arena, where 2021 runner-up Medvedev fended off a match point in the fourth set.

He will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in what is his second consecutive last-four outing at this tournament after improving his head-to-head record against Auger-Aliassime to 4-0.

Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime met in the semi-finals of last year's US Open, when the former prevailed in straight sets en route to winning the title.

But the Russian, beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year's final, was soon on the back foot in Melbourne, handing Auger-Aliassime a break point at 5-5 when he misjudged a shot that he thought was going out, but dropped in.

Medvedev then compounded that error with a double fault, but Auger-Aliassime fluffed his own lines as he failed to serve out the set before redeeming himself in the tie-break.

Auger-Aliassime continued that momentum in the second set, breaking in a mammoth second game after doggedly staying in a long rally before his opponent pushed a forehand wide.

Facing a two-set deficit, Medvedev battled hard in the third as that too went to a tie-break, which he was leading 2-1 when rain arrived and forced the roof to be closed.

He wasted little time getting the job done once play resumed, Auger-Aliassime finally showing signs of weakness as a couple of unforced errors sealed his fate in a one-sided breaker.

Medvedev survived a match point at 5-4 down in the fourth and reeled off three games in a row as he began to combine power and precision to level matters and tee up a decider.

After fending off three break points in his opening service game, it was Medvedev who broke decisively in game three to claim an advantage that he clung onto in the face of spirited resistance from his Canadian opponent.

DATA SLAM: Medvedev continues head-to-head dominance

This was the fourth meeting between these two and Medvedev had only previously lost one of eight sets.

But it threatened to be a very different story on Wednesday before the US Open champion clicked into gear to continue his dominance of the pair's head-to-head record.

Auger-Aliassime will be left to lament his failure to seize on a match-point opportunity as he converted only two of his 11 break points.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 49/53
Auger-Aliassime – 64/75

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev  – 15/9
Auger-Aliassime – 18/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev  – 3/5
Auger-Aliassime – 2/11

Related items

  • Cagliari suffer Serie A relegation as Salernitana survive for first time despite Udinese thrashing Cagliari suffer Serie A relegation as Salernitana survive for first time despite Udinese thrashing

    Cagliari were relegated from Serie A after only managing a draw against Venezia as Salernitana retained their top-flight status despite being thrashed by Udinese.

    Salernitana looked in serious danger of going down when Davide Nicola took charge in February, sitting bottom of the table with three wins from 23 games.

    Nicola inspired a resurgence, though, with his side picking up 15 points in a run of seven league games to head into the final matchday two points clear of Cagliari.

    However, Udinese were rampant as Gerard Deulofeu, Ilija Nestorovski and Iyenoma Destiny Udogie put Nicola's side 3-0 down before half-time on Sunday.

    Udinese captain Roberto Pereyra added a fourth after the interval as the Friulians achieved their best Serie A points haul (47) since the 2012-13 season (66).

    That meant Cagliari would have stayed up with a win at already-relegated Venezia, but Alessandro Agostini's could only muster a draw as the Rossoblu were relegated to Serie B for the sixth time in their history.

    Cagliari's failure handed Salernitana their first-ever Serie A survival, having failed to do so on their other two attempts in 1947-48 and 1998-99.

    Salernitana also became the first team to stay up despite conceding at least 78 goals in a single top-flight campaign after Livorno (79 in 1929-30) and Lucchese (82 in 1947-48, 79 in 1949-50).

    Meanwhile, Cagliari join Venezia and Genoa in Serie B and the trio will aim to bounce straight back up next season.

  • Outrageous rabona strike among five for Balotelli in historic final-day display Outrageous rabona strike among five for Balotelli in historic final-day display

    Mario Balotelli finished the Turkish Super Lig season in stunning fashion with the first five-goal haul in Adana Demirspor's top-flight history.

    Ninth in the table heading into Sunday, Balotelli's ADS had little to play for against already-relegated Goztepe but put on a show.

    Vincenzo Montella's side ran out 7-0 winners, with Balotelli hitting five to finish the season on 18 league goals – behind only Kasimpasa's Umut Bozok (20).

    The Italy international's outstanding display represented a club first, while Alex in May 2011 had been the last Super Lig player to net five in a match, for Fenerbahce against Ankaragucu.

    This was Balotelli's first hat-trick since scoring three for Manchester City against Aston Villa in December 2010, making him the first foreign player to hit a treble for ADS.

    As if these achievements were not enough, Balotelli's fifth goal was an outrageous effort perhaps set to be considered for the FIFA Puskas Award.

    Seven step-overs tied Atakan Cankaya – who had earlier scored an own goal – in knots, finally working space seemingly for a left-footed shot before the striker executed a sublime right-footed rabona finish across the goalkeeper and into the bottom-right corner.

    "Five goals for me today," Balotelli posted on Instagram. "There was no better way to finish the championship! Thank you to everyone."

  • Barcelona 0-2 Villarreal: Xavi's side end season with dire defeat Barcelona 0-2 Villarreal: Xavi's side end season with dire defeat

    Barcelona's season ended with a whimper as Villarreal sealed a 2-0 LaLiga win at Camp Nou on Sunday.

    The Catalan club's spot in next season's Champions League was secured earlier in May, yet Xavi will be disappointed his side have ended the campaign with just a solitary point from their final two games.

    They went behind late in the first half through Alfonso Pedraza's strike, before Moi Gomez sealed maximum points for Unai Emery's men in the second half.  

    The result meant second-placed Barca ended the campaign a whopping 13 points behind champions Real Madrid, while Villarreal finished seventh.

    Adama Traore flashed over and Ferran Torres was denied by Geronimo Rulli inside a bright opening 10 minutes for the hosts.

    Barca looked the more likely to open the scoring inside the opening half hour, yet all they had to show for their dominance was a Sergio Busquets strike that flew narrowly over the crossbar.

    The inability to take advantage of their superiority was punished four minutes before the interval as Alfonso Pedraza latched onto Daniel Parejo's pass and steered past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    Villarreal doubled their advantage in the 55th minute when Gomez lashed into the roof of net after cutting out Traore's dismal attempted clearance. 

    Frenkie de Jong had an effort ruled out for offside late on as Barca tried in vain to find their way back into the game. 

    What does it mean? Villarreal end dire run against insipid hosts

    Xavi has done well to steady the Barca ship after a chaotic start to the season, yet he will be disappointed with the way his players' intensity has dropped off in the final two games of the season.

    Victory for Villarreal, meanwhile, ended a run of 10 straight LaLiga defeats at Camp Nou, which was their worst run of successive away losses against a single opponent in the competition's history.

    Pass master Parejo

    Parejo's superb pass for Pedraza's goal saw him move level with Athletic Bilbao's Iker Muniain and Barca's Jordi Alba as LaLiga's top assister this season (10). It is the most he has ever achieved in his 14 seasons playing in the Spanish top flight.

    Torrid time for Traore

    Barca are not expected to take up the option of turning Traore's loan move from Wolves into a permanent one and it was not hard to see why on this evidence. The 26-year-old offered nothing in attack and was directly responsible for Villarreal's second goal – his last act before being hauled off for Ousmane Dembele.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.