Seeded Daniil Medvedev advanced to the fourth round of the Miami Open on Sunday, defying crippling leg cramps to beat Australian Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (7 / 9), 6-4.
World number two Medvedev, increasingly embarrassed as the third set progressed through the heat and humidity of South Florida, nonetheless mustered the only break of service of the third set on his way to a spectacular victory over Popyrin, 86th, at the ATP Masters and WTA. hard court tournament.
“It’s probably one of the best wins of my career, because I was cramping like hell in the third set,” said Medvedev.
“It was really painful,” Medvedev said. “For a few moments during the rallies, I had the impression that my legs were no longer following me. The only thing I thought about was not to fall because if I did fall I don’t think I could get up. .
“There were times when I just wanted to lay down and say, ‘OK, it’s over’, but I couldn’t accept that.
Medvedev appeared to be heading for the finish line when he took a 5-2 lead in the second set.
Popyrin held the serve 5-3, but as Medvedev didn’t face a break point in the game, another take seemed like a formality.
Instead, Medvedev was shattered by love in a match that featured a double fault and three stunning Popyrin forehand winners – including a scathing return on a breaking point.
Popyrin quickly fell to 0-40 in the next game, but an ace, serve winner and a long forehand from Medvedev erased three match points.
Medvedev saved two set points in the tiebreaker before Popyrin, who won his first ATP title in Singapore in February, tied the game with a forehand winner on his third set point.
The Russian, a finalist for Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in February, will next face unranked American Frances Tiafoe, who defeated 16th seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 1-6, 7-5, 6 -3.
John Isner, the 2018 champion and 2019 finalist, secured a place in the fourth round with a 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) victory over 11th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime .
The match was a near-carbon copy of Isner’s two-tiebreaker win over Auger-Aliassime in the 2019 semifinals. The veteran USA, 35, then faces another familiar foe, Roberto Bautista Agut.
The seventh-seeded Spaniard beat German Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reserve a chance to avenge his 2019 quarter-final loss in Miami to Isner.
– Osaka walks –
Italian teenager Jannik Sinner defeated 14th seed Karen Khachanov, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, in a physically grueling battle lasting 2 hours 50 minutes.
“I’m very happy to have won this difficult game today,” said Sinner, who booked a round of 16 encounter with Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.
Ruusuvuori, who knocked down third-seeded Alexander Zverev in the second round, beat Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
In the women’s draw, second-seed Naomi Osaka reached the fourth round for the first time, without lifting a racket, when expected opponent Nina Stojanovic withdrew with a thigh injury. right.
The United States and Australian Open champion, who could overtake number one Ashleigh Barty in the table with a title win if the Australian fails to reach the final, will then face the 16th seed from Belgium. Elise Mertens, who beat Estonia Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 0 -6, 6-2.
Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, a two-time Grand Slam winner that ended a two-year drought in Dubai this month, abandoned the opening set on his way to a 4-6, 6-3, 6- win. 4 on Anna Kalinskaya.
She will face eighth-seeded Canadian Bianca Andreescu, a 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (2/7), 6-4 winner over American Amanda Anisimova.
Fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin of the United States was eliminated by 27th seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
© 2021 AFP