'What Novak would do': Medvedev trolls Aussie Open crowd after epic win

Publish Date
Thu, 27 Jan 2022, 2:23pm

'What Novak would do': Medvedev trolls Aussie Open crowd after epic win

Publish Date
Thu, 27 Jan 2022, 2:23pm

World No 2 and top seed at the Australian Open Daniil Medvedev has pulled off one of the all-time comebacks to claim a 6-7 3-6 7-6 7-5 6-4 thriller over Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and book a place in the Australian Open semifinals. 

Without Novak Djokovic at the Open, the Russian is the favourite to take out the Open but no one told the 21-year-old Canadian. 

But even without the World No 1, his presence is still being felt in the competition. 

The Serbian superstar may be long deported from the Open but Medvedev said the 20-time grand slam champion's body of work inspired him when down two sets to love. 

Medvedev had only come back from two sets down once from 12 attempts in his career and faced a match point in the fourth set but was still able to keep it going. 

In a moment where he appeared to be trolling Australia, he said it was the example of Djokovic that got him through. 

"Tough to say also because I was not playing my best and Felix was playing unbelievable, serving unbelievable," Medvedev said. "He was all over me to be honest and all over the place. I do not really know what to do so I was like — actually, I don't know if people will like it — but I told myself what Novak would do. 

"You know what came to my mind was that because he is one of the greatest or Roger or Rafa to be honest, they have won so many matches like this. 

"And I just thought, 'okay I will make him work'. If you want to win it, he needs to, you know, fight to the last point even if it is 5-0 40-0 for him, I am going to try to make him tired for the next match, fight until the last point. 

"And it worked. I managed to raise my level during the game. Especially in the tie-break … actually it's funny, when they close the roof I suddenly felt the momentum changing my game, I felt that I could go through the court more and serve better and just started playing better." 

It was a match of epic proportions as ninth seed Auger-Aliassime attacked Medvedev's serve from the outset and claimed the first in a tie-break before the second 6-3. 

But Medvedev was not about to lay down and take the loss without a fight, taking the third set in a tense tie-breaker. 

In a bonkers match packed with long rallies, incredible service games and gripping tension throughout, Medvedev was helped by the first real piece of luck he had in the entire game when the rain started early in the tie-breaker. 

A seven-minute break was just what the doctor ordered as Medvedev opened up a 5-1 lead and held on to take the set. 

It pushed the match to a gripping fourth set and led to the first match point for the Canadian. 

At 5-4 on Medvedev's serve, Auger-Aliassime had the end in sight but Medvedev kept it alive in the match as he closed out the game. 

The Russian then pulled out a break at 5-all and was looking to serve out the game, earning three set points, before the Canadian bounced back to send it to deuce. 

A ridiculous point Medvedev had no right to win and a massive ace later and the match went to the fifth set. 

It wasn't just a long match, the tennis was of incredible quality as well. 

The Athletic's Sam Vencenie tweeted: "Some of the s*** Felix and Medvedev are doing is just insane. The shot-making is just wild. They both know how on they are at this point, and have to be so aggressive so far this set. And it's just such a great show." 

Medvedev then broke early in the fifth set as the match passed the four hour mark and the incredible epic continued to drag on. 

While Medvedev appeared to be charging late, the young Canadian required medical treatment but never gave up the hunt. 

The eighth game left an opening for Auger-Aliassime once again as he earned a break point but somehow Medvedev fought his way back to hold serve. 

One final shot that went long handed the match to the Russian after four hours and 42 minutes, the longest match on Rod Laver Arena this Australian Open. 

Jim Courier asked Medvedev about how he would go about his recovery before Friday's clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas and the 25-year-old said: "It's the semifinal in a grand slam so even if I am the worst shape of my life I will fight my best and try to make it tough for my opponent." 

Earlier in the match, fans made it clear they had not forgotten the Russian's "low IQ" swipe after the Nick Kyrgios match, throwing their support behind the Canadian. 

Medvedev sarcastically clapped along with the crowd after an unforced error gave Auger-Aliassime the first set. 

"They (the crowd) are for Felix and he sarcastically claps his racquet," Courier said. "He thinks it is poor etiquette by the crowd (to cheer errors) and he has said it many, many times in press. And that just shows you where this match stands. That Felix has gotten underneath his skin and the scoreline is weighing on him." 

Early in the second set when Auger-Aliassime broke, Todd Woodbridge said in commentary that he might need to ask the crowd to be quiet between first and second serves as they appeared to revel in Medvedev's mistakes. 

When he didn't stand up in the second set, Sam Groth added that the Russian was getting increasingly frustrated. 

"It has been a frustrating night courtside. Really noticeable from Daniil Medvedev," Sam Groth said court-side. "He has been frustrated at himself. He has been frustrated at his racquet. At the ballkids and the tournament referee, at the roof, at the weather, at the crowd. A little bit of everything." 

By the fourth set, Medvedev was fuming about the TV screens, which showed a close up of Auger-Aliassime's face. 

"Ask the operator to stop being really stupid and put the huge picture of Felix's face just before my return. How stupid can he be? Idiot. You really need no brain to do (it), it's unbelievable," he raged.