Daniil Medvedev’s defiant defence shut down the high-powered challenge of Jannik Sinner on Friday at the Erste Bank Open, where the 26-year-old secured a clinical 6-4, 6-2 quarter-final triumph.
Medvedev’s persistence proved decisive in an engrossing 91-minute encounter in Austria. Sinner threw a barrage of heavy groundstrokes at his opponent but was unable to regularly hit through the top seed. Medvedev did not face a break point in the match and converted three of six break points of his own as he improved his ATP Head2Head series record against the Italian to 4-0.
“Jannik is a top player, and he can pose problems to anybody basically,” said Medvedev after the match. “The last two Grand Slams, he played five sets with the [eventual] winner, so Jannik is a top player and I’m really happy today with my performance.
“I served amazingly well, I almost didn’t do any unforced errors, I was solid behind the baseline. Everything was working well today and I’m really happy about it.”
With the win, Medvedev improved to 32-10 on hard courts in 2022. Medvedev, who can seal his spot at November’s Nitto ATP Finals by lifting the trophy in Vienna, was pleased to have backed up his semi-final run in Astana three weeks ago by reaching the same stage in the Austrian capital for the first time.
“In general the way I played today against Jannik is the same as in Astana,” said the top seed. “I’m really happy, I have been looking for this level for a long, long time. It’s the level where I can win the biggest tournaments on Tour and I hope I can bring it to two more matches.”
The only man in the singles draw yet to drop serve this week in Vienna, Medvedev will next meet Grigor Dimitrov as he chases his second tour-level title of the season. The Bulgarian earlier held off Marcos Giron for a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 quarter-final victory.
Medvedev leads Dimitrov 3-2 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, but the Bulgarian won the last meeting between the two in Indian Wells in 2021.
“Grigor is the same [as Sinner], he is a top player, he can beat anybody,” said Medvedev. “He was a Top Three player, making semis of Slams. Maybe more up and down this year, but when he is up he is amazing, so I just have to play my best tennis from my side and that’s how I can have the chance to win.”
FOLLOW THIS WEEK’S ACTION
📺 TV Schedule
🎾 Watch Live On Tennis TV
📱 Follow Live Scores On ATP WTA Live
📧 Sign Up For Newsletters
In the bottom half of the draw, Borna Coric held his nerve in a deciding-set tie-break for the second consecutive day in Vienna as he prevailed 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-6(5) against Hubert Hurkacz in a thrilling quarter-final clash.
Barely 24 hours after he rallied to a stunning second-round win against second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, Coric withstood a huge serving performance from Hurkacz (that included 28 aces) to reach the semi-finals for the first time on his fourth appearance in Vienna. The Croatian saved all four break points he faced in his two-hour, 53-minute triumph.
“I don’t know [how I won], to be honest,” said Coric after the match. “He was serving absolute bombs, I’ve never seen that in my life. I was just hanging in there, focusing on my serve and trying to stay positive, because that’s the only thing that I could do, and then hope that in the tie-break I could make some returns.”
Cincinnati champion Coric will take on Denis Shapovalov, a 6-3, 6-3 winner against Daniel Evans, in the semi-finals as he aims to reach his second tour-level final of 2022.
Hurkacz’s defeat represents a blow to the Pole’s hopes of qualifying for November’s Nitto ATP Finals. The 25-year-old is in ninth position in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he heads to next week’s Rolex Paris Masters, where he will likely require a deep run to have a chance of sealing a spot at the season finale for the second time.