MELBOURNE (AFP) – An annoyed Daniil Medvedev lost his cool in the heat of a tetchy four-set battle with big-serving American Maxime Cressy to reach the quarter-finals at the Australian Open yesterday.
The Russian second seed took a medical timeout to have his lower back massaged and had some heated exchanges with the chair umpire before seeing out a 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (4/7), 7-5 win in three hours and 30 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.
It is Medvedev’s second straight quarter-final appearance in Melbourne where he will face Canada’s ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who got past former finalist Marin Cilic of Croatia in four sets.
“I was quite mad today because of a few things. I’m working on myself, that’s why I managed to win and still kept my composure, as much as I could, because sometimes I go much crazier than I did today,” Medvedev said.
“I just felt a little bit not perfect today for a few reasons. I was annoyed with the day.”
Medvedev was first irritated that as second seed – the highest seed in the tournament after Novak Djokovic’s deportation – he was scheduled to play on the secondary court and has yet to play on Rod Laver Arena in this tournament.
He also was put off by Cressy’s unerring ability to hit the lines on break points. “I was talking about luck. He really did hit the lines on the second serves in the match, I was really annoyed by this,” he said. “But again, even what I was saying during the match, I was not talking about him. I was more talking about, yeah, luck.”
Medvedev also clashed with the chair umpire over the amount of time Cressy was taking to serve in the pressure latter stages of the match.
Medvedev was also frustrated about his inability to convert eight break points in the final set before finally cracking Cressy’s serve in the 11th game and then serve it out.
“I definitely had some break points where I could have played them a little bit better,” he said.
“He still gave me the chance to be in that game, but it was a good match.”
It was Medvedev’s biggest challenge so far in the opening major of the year and a combination of Cressy’s variable serving – 18 aces and 18 double faults – and the sapping heat made it a test of the Russian’s usually unflappable demeanour.
Both Medvedev and Cressy showed the attritional effects of Melbourne’s brutal heat with both calling for the physio during the match to patch up and keep going.
Medvedev, the runner-up a year ago, is looking for back-to-back Grand Slam crowns after beating the 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic in the US Open final.