ATP

Medvedev leads the way as Tsitsipas and Rublev progress at Miami Open

By Sports Desk March 30, 2021

Top seed Daniil Medvedev powered his way into the Miami Open quarter-finals, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev on Tuesday.

Medvedev won in straight sets against unseeded American Frances Tiafoe, hitting 24 winners.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas won in straight sets against 24th seed Lorenzo Sonego, although the second went to a tie-break which the Greek dominated.

World number eight Andrey Rublev got past Marin Cilic in straight sets to book his last-eight spot.

Fifth seed Diego Schwartzman was the major casualty on Tuesday, losing to unseeded American Sebastian Korda in three sets. Seeds Josh Isner, Milos Raonic and Taylor Fritz also exited.

 

TOP SEED EASES INTO LAST EIGHT

World number two Medvedev was too good for Tiafoe in a 6-4 6-3 victory.

Medvedev improved his 2021 record to 17-2, sending down 11 aces with a dominant first-serve display while taking three of his four break points.

The 2021 Australian Open runner-up will meet seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in his maiden Miami Open quarter-finals appearance.

"It was definitely a tough match," the Russian said in his post-match on-court interview. "I am just looking forward to tomorrow. Roberto is a hell of a player.

"I feel like sometimes, when I have practised with him and played against him, that his ranking should be higher. There are reasons why it is not and I am going to try to do something with it tomorrow."

STEFANOS SIZZLES PAST SONEGO

Tsitsipas kept up his good form after making last month's Australian Open semi-finals, by booking his first Miami Open quarter-final appearance.

The Greek world number five defeated Sonego 6-2 7-6 (7-2) with a clinical performance to keep alive his dream of a maiden ATP Masters title.

Tsitsipas won in just over an hour and a half, proving too good on serve, having not offered up one break point and winning 89 per cent of first-serve points.

He was also too good with his return for the Italian, winning 35 per cent of the points on Sonego's serve.

The Greek will take on Polish 26th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight, after he knocked out 12th seed Raonic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

 

FIFTH SEED TOPPLED BY KORDA

World number nine Schwartzman was knocked out in three sets by Korda 6-3 4-6 7-5 as he continues his super run.

Florida resident Korda, 20, reached his maiden ATP 1000 quarter-final, showing fight after the Argentinian raised his game in the second set, winning after an early break in the last.

Rublev made light work of former US Open champion Marin Cilic, triumphing 6-4 6-4.

Bautista Agut got past 18th seed Isner 6-3 4-6 7-6 (9-7), while Jannik Sinner defeated Alexander Zverev's conqueror Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 6-2.

Alexander Bublik, seeded 32nd, sent down 23 aces as he beat Taylor Fritz 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.

 

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    Ash Barty defeated Danielle Collins in an enthralling final to cap a supreme Australian Open campaign with a maiden title in her home grand slam.

    Barty was made to work hard for her success by unlikely finalist Collins and had to come from 5-1 down in the second set to prevail 6-3 7-6 (7-2) on Rod Laver Arena.

    It was to the delight of a partisan Melbourne crowd, who saw an Australian triumph in a singles event at the season's first major for the first time since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

    Barty, who has now won 11 matches in a row in 2022, clinched her third grand slam title at the first opportunity, a sublime cross-court forehand sealing a sensational triumph.

    Barty had offered the first sign of nerves and had to save the match's first break point with a brilliant forehand winner before recovering to hold.

    Yet she turned the tables in the next game, Collins tensing up and conceding the first break when she sent two serves long.

    With the crowd behind her, Barty got into her groove, holding with ease before two fantastic forehands paved the way for her to serve out the set.

    Barty seemed primed to take the match away from Collins in the second set, yet the top seed was stunned as she slumped to a 3-0 deficit.

    Having conceded serve for just the second time in the tournament, Barty squandered two immediate chances to break back, Collins coming out on top in a thrilling rally.

    There were more fist pumps from Collins as she held to go 4-1 up. A brilliant passing shot gave Barty hope in the next game, but she rushed a volley and followed with a double fault to hand her opponent two break points.

    Collins took the first to put herself on the brink of restoring parity, only for Barty to rally back with a break of her own and start a quite sensational comeback.

    Having held for 6-3, Barty appeared to have left herself too much to do when she went 30-0 down on Collins' next serve but reeled off four straight points to send the crowd into raptures before levelling the set with a fine hold.

    Collins needed to regain her composure and did so to reach the tie-break, but a foreland long put Barty in control, and the crowd were on their feet after a volleyed winner made it 4-0.

    Collins struck the net and then missed the court to grand Barty four championship points, and the comeback was complete with her slick forehand.

    DATA SLAM: Barty's home run

    The first Australian woman since 1980 to reach the final of this major, Barty became the first woman to win a grand slam title in her home country since Sloane Stephens triumphed at the 2017 US Open.

    She is also the first woman ranked world number one to lift the trophy since Serena Williams in 2015, ending a run of top-ranked players losing the Australian Open final, after Simona Halep in 2018 and Serena Williams in 2016.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Barty – 30/22
    Collins – 17/22

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Barty – 10/3
    Collins – 1/2

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Barty – 3/5
    Collins – 2/4

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  • Australian Open: 'I was out of my mind' – Medvedev explains extraordinary umpire rant Australian Open: 'I was out of my mind' – Medvedev explains extraordinary umpire rant

    Daniil Medvedev conceded he was out of his mind when he embarked on an extraordinary rant at the chair umpire during his Australian Open win over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

    The Russian, who came from two sets down to see off Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last round, roared into a second consecutive Melbourne final as he downed Tsitsipas in a fiery last-four showdown.

    Medvedev ultimately triumphed 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1 to set up a final with Rafael Nadal but it was a contest in which tempers frayed, mostly on US Open champion's side of the net.

    Second seed Medvedev felt Tsitsipas' father was coaching from the sidelines and received a warning for his persistent complaining.

    He stopped short of accusing Tsitsipas of cheating but explained his mindset at length in the post-match news conference.

    Medvedev said: "Cheating, not at all. First of all I got broken - I got a little bit mad. I thought the referee could do a little bit better with the crowd, just to say, 'Quiet please', or something like this. 

    "Didn't see him doing that often and I made a terrible double fault, got a code when I was just showing everybody that I'm cramping.

    "I cannot toss the ball with my left hand because everybody's screaming, so my serve was terrible.

    "To be honest, before every return his father was talking Greek. I don't know, maybe he's saying, 'Come on, come on', there is no problem.

    "But then the referee, I asked him if he can talk. He said he can talk but he can't coach. Then I said, 'Do you speak Greek?' 

    "If not, the guy is talking, talking, talking. I don't know what he says, but if it's a coach - I don't consider coaching as cheating but it should be a code violation. Then second one would be a bit tricky."

    Medvedev branded the umpire "a small cat" in his astonishing on-court outburst.

    He added: "You guys are laughing, so I think we can say it was funny, but I was definitely out of my mind. I was not controlling myself anymore about anything.

    "That's actually why I'm really happy to win. Many matches like this I would go on to do mistakes - you lose your concentration with things in the heat of the moment. I'm so happy that I managed to catch it really fast."

    Medvedev often feels regret after his outbursts, but concedes they sometimes give him the fuel to win.

    "I regret it all the time, because I don't think it's nice." he said. "I know that every referee is trying to do their best.

    "In tennis we don't fight with the fists but tennis is a fight. It's a one-on-one against another player. 

    "So I'm actually really respectful to players who never, almost never show their emotions because it's tough, I can get really emotional. 

    "I have been working on it. So many matches I handle it. If we look back at myself five years ago when I started playing, just started playing, there was less attention on me, but I was just insanely crazy.

    "I'm working on it. Helps me to win matches, I know. So I do regret it 100 per cent, but again, in the heat of the moment, I just lost it."

    Tsitsipas suggested the Russian was lacking in maturity, saying about the rant: "Well, it's for sure funny!

    "It's funny. I don't pay attention to the stuff. I know players like to do this stuff to throw you off mentally. Could be maybe a tactic? It is all right, he is not the most mature person anyways."

    Of the allegation he received coaching, Tsitsipas replied: "I wasn't - you saw me the other day, losing the score twice in two of my matches. I cannot hear anything when I'm playing. 

    "It's impossible. Having the crowd being so loud in every single point, you have to have super hearing to be able to hear what your coach says.

    "I'm used to it. They've been targeting me already a long time. The umpires are always paying attention to my box, never paying attention to the opponent's box. 

    "Last thing I want is someone giving me tips and giving me advice on what I should do. I'm not the kind of person that would try and listen when out there competing, playing. In practice, maybe."

    But Medvedev was reluctant to get into a war of words with Tsitsipas.

    He said: "No, I don't want to get too much into this, because again, it was nothing against Stefanos, nothing during this match and I feel like I didn't talk about him. 

    "I just talked about the rule, because again, I don't know what his father is saying. Maybe he's just saying, 'Let's go next point'. It's completely allowed. 

    "I don't know Greek. Same about the umpire. He should just, I don't know, talk to Stefanos first maybe, [tell him to] say something to your father. 

    "If my coach would be talking in French to me before every point, even I would say, 'Stop it. It's not allowed'. So it was only about this."

    Tsitsipas revealed he had regularly discussed the topic with his father and ultimately believes coaching should be legalised.

    He added: "My father, look, he's a person that when he gets into something when there is a lot of action, his medicine is to talk, and you can't stop it. It's something that he does from nature.

    "I've tried, spent countless hours trying to figure it out with him, but it's part of him. 

    "Last year I went out publicly on one of my social media platforms and said that I think coaching should be allowed, simply because coaches do it anyways. 

    "Most of them get away with it, and they do it pretty smartly, I can tell you."

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