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Australian Open: Daniil Medvedev holds off Hubert Hurkacz fightback in gruelling quarter-final

World No 3 Daniil Medvedev overcame the Melbourne heat and a gutsy effort from Hubert Hurkacz to make his eighth Grand Slam semi-final; Medvedev will play the winner of Carlos Alcaraz versus Alexander Zverev, with live updates from their match here on Sky Sports

Image: Daniil Medvedev is into the Australian Open semi-finals for the third time

Daniil Medvedev needed five sets to see off Hubert Hurkacz in another gruelling Australian Open quarter-final that went the distance on Wednesday.

Medvedev reached the last four in Melbourne for the third time after a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 win over Hurkacz, who was playing in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for just the second time in his career.

The Russian will face Carlos Alcaraz or Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals, with their match taking place later on today at around 10am UK time.

"I'm so destroyed right now! Not that I ran out of gas but it was feeling very tough at the end of the second set already," said Medvedev.

"So I was like 'OK I need to try and stay tough'. I broke in the fourth but then he played good and I'm not going to be tough on myself.

"In the fifth set I just concentrated and said 'OK, I just have to try my best to do whatever I can. If I lose, I lose and I go home. That's OK'. But, I'm happy that I managed to win."

Daniil Medvedev of Russia wipes the sweat from his face during his quarterfinal match against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland at the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Image: Medvedev has already come through one five-set match this tournament when he beat Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round in a match that finished at 3.40am local time

The first set underlined that the contest could be a long one as both players had a break each and Medvedev interestingly returned from the baseline throughout, rather than his usual deep position.

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It went to a tie-break which Medvedev won but Hurkacz did not let his head go down and broke twice in the second to level the match up at one set each.

Hurkacz failed to capitalise on a break-point chance immediately at the start of the third which Medvedev punished with a break of his own to go 4-1 up.

He held on to that advantage to take a 2-1 lead in sets and broke early in the fourth when it looked like the former US Open champion was on course to win the match.

Hubert Hurkacz of Poland reacts during his quarterfinal match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia at the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)
Image: Hurkacz had won the previous two meetings between himself and Medvedev but could not beat the Russian on Wednesday

However, Hurkacz upped the pace and reeled off six consecutive aces in the middle of the set, then broke his opponent to make it 4-4.

Momentum was now firmly on Hurkacz's side as Medvedev began to struggle on serve and the Polish No 1 found himself with a set point at 6-5, which he took to send the quarter-final into a deciding set.

The opening six games of the final set were shared before unforced errors from Hurkacz gave Medvedev two break points. Medvedev broke at the first time of asking to move 4-3 ahead and resisted a Hurkacz break point in the next game as he went on to hold serve and win the match in just under four hours.

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