Medvedev survives Toronto scare as Tsitsipas ends Ruud's winning run.

By Sports Desk August 13, 2021

Daniil Medvedev avenged a Wimbledon loss to Hubert Hurkacz in a three-set thriller while Stefanos Tsitsipas made impressively light work of the in-form Casper Ruud at the National Bank Open.

Top seed and world number two Medvedev appeared headed for another defeat to Hurkacz before fighting back to prevail 2-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) and reach the semi-finals.

The Pole won a five-setter at Wimbledon in the pair's only previous meeting before going on to stun Roger Federer and reach the semis, but could not repeat his feat in Toronto. 

Though Medvedev failed to convert the only two break point opportunities he had, his work in the tiebreaks was enough to put him over the top as he served 23 aces to nine for Hurkacz. 

The Russian now faces a semi-final matchup against John Isner, who won a clash of veterans with 11th seed Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Earlier Friday, Tsitsipas claimed a 6-1 6-4 victory over Ruud, who entered the clash having won each of his previous 13 matches. 

It was Tsitsipas' 45th win of the season, a figure unmatched by anyone else on the ATP tour, and he needed just 74 minutes to complete it.

The 23-year-old won each of the first five games of the match and only made four unforced errors in the opening set.

Although Norway's Ruud improved in the second, he failed to make the most of a rare break opportunity and that seemed to jolt Tsitsipas into life again, the Greek swiftly breaking and then serving out the match.

"It is very nice to see myself perform at this level," Tsitsipas said afterwards. "I was sticking close to the baseline and coming in, taking the ball early. It was my intention from the very beginning, and it worked perfectly.

"Playing against a guy like him, who gets every single ball back, is always very challenging. There is some sort of concentration levels you have to reach to perform to your best. These kinds of matches always teach me things that I can expose for next time."

Up next for Tsitsipas as he targets a place in the final is Reilly Opelka, the big-serving American who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 7-6 (7-1), plundering 18 aces along the way.

Related items

  • French Open: 'I refuse to give up' - Tsitsipas stages five-set comeback over Musetti French Open: 'I refuse to give up' - Tsitsipas stages five-set comeback over Musetti

    Stefanos Tsitsipas completed the third comeback win from two sets down of his career on Tuesday, defeating Lorenzo Musetti 5-7 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2 at the French Open.

    Before moving to a 2-0 head-to-head record over Musetti, the fourth-seed Greek's last such victory was against Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals at the 2021 Australian Open.

    Tsitsipas needed to draw on that experience and dig deep after only winning 60 per cent of points on his first serve in the first two sets on Tuesday, going on to then win 15 of 17 points in the deciding set.

    Post-match, the world number four explained how he needed to isolate his focus on each point and build from there after going two sets down.

    "Things don't come easy. I refuse to give up. That's simply how it works with me," Tsitsipas said. "You never really think about getting back after being two sets to love. You just play it point after point. You just wish that your efforts will pay off on a longer scale, longer run.

    "Being in that situation, it's a mountain that you have to climb, and I was able to climb it and regain the momentum steadily, but consistently."

    The 20-year-old Musetti was able to gain early momentum from the baseline and won the longer points, with an even share of winners as well as forced and unforced errors from Tsitsipas.

    The match turned as Tsitsipas regained rhythm on his serve and with more free points coming his way, it then allowed him to apply pressure.

    According to Tsitsipas, however, it was far from easy against a tough opponent who is at home on clay.

    "He's fighting. He's a talented player that has a very nice one-handed backhand," he said afterwards. "He knows the game on clay. He has grown up playing these courts. He's definitely a difficult opponent to face in any circumstance, really.

    "Once I really found my momentum on the serve, my routines and everything, I knew that it can be a different match. 

    "I felt like I was serving better than him, creating more opportunities with my serve, pressing more. It would have been kind of not fair from my perspective to have a different outcome."

     

  • French Open: Pressure no problem for Halep as she kicks off Roland Garros campaign with win French Open: Pressure no problem for Halep as she kicks off Roland Garros campaign with win

    Former world number one Simona Halep says she will put "as much pressure as possible" on herself as she seeks French Open glory.

    The 2018 Roland Garros champion came through her first-round clash against 18-year-old lucky loser Nastasja Schunk 6-4 1-6 6-1 on Tuesday.

    Number 19 seed Halep, who is now coached by Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, has played 42 main-draw matches at the French Open – more than any other player in this year's competition.

    Asked if that experience brings with it more pressure, Halep told a media conference: "Well, hopefully I put as much pressure as possible on myself because I love pressure. It's good to have it and it keeps you focused.

    "Everyone is playing well, so it's a big challenge every match. We are at Grand Slam, so it's always tough. But I'm here to face these challenges, and I'm here to give my best.

    "So, I will focus on myself. I will try to do what I have to do, and that's it. Then we will see.

    "I will think about the next round only, and then if I will win it, I will think about the next one.

    "I don't want to look further than that. It's important to just stay focused and to play the next match."

    Halep will face Zheng Qinwen in the second round after the Chinese player overcame Maryna Zanevska 6-3 6-1 on Monday. 

  • French Open: 'He made his mark on the sport' – Federer, Djokovic and Nadal pay tribute to 'charismatic' Tsonga French Open: 'He made his mark on the sport' – Federer, Djokovic and Nadal pay tribute to 'charismatic' Tsonga

    Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have paid tribute to the "charismatic" Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after the 37-year-old brought his 18-year professional career to a close.

    Tsonga, who reached a career-high ranking of world number five in 2012, confirmed in April that he would retire at the culmination of his French Open campaign.

    That duly came in the first round on Tuesday as he bowed out to world number eight Casper Ruud 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0).

    He retires having won, according to Opta, 464 Tour-level matches since September 2004.

    Tsonga is one of just three players, along with Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro, to have beaten Nadal, Federer and Djokovic while they were ranked world number one.

    He is also one of three players, alongside Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych, who have defeated Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at grand slams.

    A video tribute was played on court after his defeat to Ruud, which featured messages from the sport's most iconic players.

    Federer said: "I wanted to congratulate you on an amazing career and it was a pleasure to share the court with and play against you, even to lose against you!

    "We had some great battles. Enjoy the moment in Paris with all your friends and family, in front of all your adoring spectators."

    Djokovic added: "Jo is one of the most charismatic tennis players ever to play the game. I was very happy to share the court with him many times.

    "We get along well and he's a really nice guy. He brought a lot of positive attention and popularity to our sport not just because of his dynamic game style, but also his charisma and his personality, so it's a big loss for professional men's tennis to have him retire.

    "I wish him all the best, and he definitely should be happy about his career and his achievements. He's made his mark and his legacy in our sport."

    Nadal said: "He is very charismatic. I've known him since we were kids; he is a good guy and I think he brings a lot of positive things to our sport so I'm sad to see him going but we are getting old so it's going to happen for everyone."

    Speaking at a media conference after his defeat, Tsonga said he would now spend some time relaxing before focusing on the development of his tennis academy.

    He said he will miss the adrenaline of playing on court, as well as how he was able to express himself completely when competing.

    "It's adrenaline, to step onto a big court like this one," he said. "It's adrenaline you can feel when you have 15,000 people shouting out your name, supporting you on the court.

    "This is what I'm going to miss – the contact with the crowd. And with those who have been supporting me for all these years.

    "You know, in real life, it's sometimes difficult to be intense. You don't want to shock, you don't want to be too rude, you don't want to hurt somebody.

    "You always try to act to be nice, to be sociable. But, you know, on the court, you can express your fever. You can express everything about you, and it's sometimes freeing."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.