MELBOURNE, Australia — Daniil Medvedev outlasted ninth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open for the third time in four years.
In a grueling four-hour match containing numerous rallies of 20-plus shots, Medvedev held off a comeback attempt from Hurkacz to advance.
Medvedev will meet either Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz or Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev, who were playing later Wednesday, for a place in the final.
Medvedev, who won the 2021 US Open and is a two-time finalist in Australia, appeared on course for a more straightforward victory when he led 4-2 in the fourth set, but Hurkacz raised his game to take it to a decider.
Medvedev took the decisive break in the seventh game of the fifth and held on for victory, capped with a drop shot.
«I’m so destroyed right now,» Medvedev, his hands clasped behind his head, said in his on-court interview. «I was feeling very tough physically in the send set already.»
The No. 3-ranked Medvedev has had a tough run in Melbourne, including a nearly 4½-hour, five-set second-round match that finished close to 4 a.m., when he admitted he was already thinking about the flight home.
The trip home entered his mind again against Hurkacz, when Medvedev resolved to throw out the game plan and do whatever he could to turn things around.
That included reverting to a risky serve-volley strategy on some points, and standing up near the baseline to receive serves — much closer than he usually does owing to his usual deep positioning.