Daniil Medvedev breezes into Open semis

·2-min read

Melbourne's weather and compatriot Daniil Medvedev applied the blowtorch to Andrey Rublev, the world No.4 moving through to the semi-finals of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win.

In the battle of the Russians, Medvedev once again proved far too strong, powering to a 7-5 6-3 6-2 win.

Medvedev will now play the winner of Wednesday night's match between Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas for a tilt at the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

With Rublev having not won a set from his countryman in three previous outings, Medvedev was always going to be a warm favourite on Rod Laver Arena.

But warm turned to hot in more ways than one as a noticeably distressed Rublev failed to cope with the upswing in Melbourne temperatures.

He went toe-to-toe with Medvedev for much of the first set, snatching back a break and staying on serve at 5-6.

Then a loose last game handed Medvedev the set and things quickly unravelled from there.

A 43-shot point in the sixth game of the second set appeared to take the sting out of Rublev's play, the flame-haired Muscovite wilting thereafter in Melbourne's afternoon sun.

The Open had offered relatively mild summer weather for much of the tournament but on a day tipping 30 degrees the effects were obvious for Rublev.

At one change of ends he slumped into his chair and looked like he might not get back up.

It was in stark contrast to Medvedev who appeared as though he could play all day, showing just why he is now on a 19-match winning run.

But even that was something of a well-constructed ruse, Medvedev admitting he was cramping towards the end.

"He sees me struggling a little bit, that's where he's going to fight," said Medvedev, who admitted that he'd never seen Rublev looking that tired before.

"Everybody fights until the last point, but when you see your opponent struggle, it's tough to fight because you know that you just need to make this one, two balls, who knows, he's going to fall down and retire. We never know.

"So for sure I didn't want to show him that I'm struggling. I wanted to look like I'm as easy as possible so he struggles even more."

Rublev looked downbeat after another loss to his countryman but is clearly a player on the rise after cracking the top 10 for the first time last year.

"In all the moments he was playing much better than me, and that's it - simple," Rublev said.

Medvedev is the second Russian man through to the last four with qualifier Aslan Karatsev to take on world No.1 Novak Djokovic.