Daniil Medvedev asked himself 'what would Novak do?' to inspire Felix Auger-Aliassime comeback

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Daniil Medvedev asked himself 'what would Novak do? to inspire Felix Auger-Aliassime comeback - AFP
Daniil Medvedev asked himself 'what would Novak do? to inspire Felix Auger-Aliassime comeback - AFP
  • Daniil Medvedev battles back to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4

  • Medvedev reveals he thought of Novak Djokovic for inspiration at two sets down

  • Russian No 2 seed will now play Stefanos Tsitsipas in mouth-watering semi-final

  • Brits Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid win record ninth consecutive major

​Top seed and tournament favourite Daniil Medvedev scrambled through to the semi-finals of the Australian Open with a 4hr 42min comeback win – and then admitted that he had taken inspiration from Melbourne’s least favourite man Novak Djokovic.

Medvedev had been pushed around in the early stages by a fluent and confident Felix Auger Aliassime, the 21-year-old Canadian who possesses one of the most dangerous attacking games in the world.

But he dug in and then earned boos from the Melbourne crowd by revealing that his inspiration had been Djokovic, the vaccine sceptic who had so disrupted the build-up to this tournament a fortnight ago.

"I didn't really know what to do,” Medvedev told Jim Courier during the on-court interview, as he described his early struggles. “I don't know if people are going to like it, but I told myself, 'What would Novak do?'

“He is one of the greatest champions,” added Medvedev of Djokovic, as he explained the finer details of his 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory. “Roger, Rafa too: they’ve won so many matches like this. [I thought] ‘I’m going to make him win it. He’s going to have to fight for the final point.’”

A clear second favourite with the crowd, Medvedev had come out flat as the match started in brutally hot conditions. He was double-faulting – a result, he said later, of feeling the racket slip in his sweaty hands – and moving without his usual long-limbed, spider-like efficiency.

 Daniil Medvedev, left, of Russia is congratulated by Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada after winning their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open - AP
Daniil Medvedev, left, of Russia is congratulated by Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada after winning their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open - AP

Auger Aliassime, by contrast, looked as if he thought this was his night. He was the man gambling, via his aggressive ball-striking, and he was coming up with all the right roulette numbers.

Auger Aliassime's wave of momentum carried him all the way to a match point in the fourth set, at which point Medvedev saved himself with a powerful first serve into the corner of the box.

Unpredictable showers in Melbourne led to two closures of the roof - with the second occasion coming right in the middle of the critical third-set tie-break. Once it stayed closed, the cooler conditions played into the hands of Medvedev, who enjoys longer rallies and thus doesn’t want the ball to fly too much.

As Medvedev admitted later, “When they closed the roof, I felt the momentum change in my game. I managed to raise my level.”

To his credit, Auger Aliassime did not go away, but Medvedev was resolute now and his improved fitness levels showed through. Having lost the first six five-set matches of his career, he has now won three of the last four.

His opponent in Friday’s semi-final will be Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had earlier eased through a contrastingly one-sided 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Jannik Sinner.

Brits Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid win record ninth consecutive major

By Molly McElwee

British wheelchair tennis doubles partners Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid won a ninth consecutive major title at the Australian Open, beating the record they previously shared with Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver.

On Wednesday Hewett and Reid lifted their third consecutive doubles trophy in Melbourne, and their 14th together in total, to continue their dominance in wheelchair tennis. They defeated Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Japan's Shingo Kunieda 6-2 4-6 [10-7] in a dramatic final, which saw a rain delay interrupt the match tie-break.

It means they have won every men's wheelchair doubles title since lifting the US Open trophy in 2019, pitting them ahead of Navratilova and Shriver's legendary record of eight consecutive majors in women's doubles, from Wimbledon 1983 to Roland Garros 1985.

"It means a lot, that's pretty amazing when you list it like that," Reid said. "I think sometimes we don't let it sink in, we're getting used to it a little bit more. But we are just really proud of it.

"These kinds of records, we take them with a pinch of salt because it’s a little bit different for us to win a Grand Slam title than it might be for people in the other draws. It’s always nice to hear them, but we focus on what we’re doing and enjoying each one as it comes, and to try and come back better in the next one."

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid of Great Britain pose with the trophy after their victory in the Men's Wheelchair Doubles Final match against Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Shingo Kunieda of Japan during day 10 of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. - GETTY IMAGES
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid of Great Britain pose with the trophy after their victory in the Men's Wheelchair Doubles Final match against Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Shingo Kunieda of Japan during day 10 of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. - GETTY IMAGES

Their win was all the more impressive, considering Reid had been struggling with a wrist injury ahead of the tournament. "We're really happy," Hewett said. "I think at the start of the week we didn't know if Gordon was going to be fit enough to play because of his wrist injury, so to be sitting here with the title it’s remarkable."

Hewett remains on track to do the double in Melbourne, as he will play the singles final on Thursday against top-ranked Kunieda of Japan. His career was given a new lease on life last November, after plans to change classification rules - which would have blocked him from competing - were rethought following a tense review process.

After two years of uncertainty, when he feared he would be forced to retire at just 23-years-old, Hewett said it made this win "extra special". "To come here I felt really relaxed, it's a different event for me," he said. "Mentally, last year was obviously very difficult and I dealt with it as best I could.

"I can look back at last year and have no regrets, I’m really proud of the way I kept going and tried to stay present, hoping in the end that the decision would be reversed and I got the good news at the end of last year. This one, it was all about enjoying the freedom again, being able to focus on the tennis and enjoy it - today was really fun."

Elsewhere Briton Andy Lapthorne reclaimed the quad doubles title with American partner David Wagner, defeating no. 1 seeds Sam Schroder and Niels Vink 2-6 6-4 [10-7], to win their fourth title in Melbourne together.

Daniil Medvedev battles back to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime, as it happened:

01:36 PM

The moment the match was won

01:34 PM

Medvedev speaks

I was not playing my best and Felix was playing unbelievable, serving unbelievable and he was all over me to be honest.

I didn't know what to do, so I told myself - I'm not sure people are going to like it - I said 'what will Novak do?'

It's funny when they closed the roof I felt the momentum change.

01:29 PM

Medvedev wins: 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4

Aliassime wins the first point of the game against the serve thanks to a strong forehand. Then Medvedev is wide with a backhand, and Aliassime leads 30-0! Another half chance of a break.

But then an unforced error into the net gifts Medvedev a point, but the Russian tries to do too much with a forehand and it is out! Two break points for Aliassime.

Brilliant from Medvedev though, who chalks one of those off. Aliassime then drags a cross-court backhand out, and we go to deuce.

Big first serve from Medvedev and he follows up that up with a smash to seize advantage.

His next serve hits the net, but his defences get him out of trouble, and a Aliassime return is called out!

Medvedev through to the semi-finals where he will play Stefanos Tsitsipas.

01:24 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 5-4 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Medvedev is making Aliassime working extremely hard to take this match to another game. To deuce we go after several long baseline exchanges, and Aliassime sticks to his task and claims the game when a Medvedev forehand flies long. Medvedev will now serve for the match.

01:15 PM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 5-3 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Aliassime goes close to a corking cross court winner but it missed the lime by a matter of centimetres, but he wins the next point to close the hap to 40-30 on Medvedev's serve.

Then the Russian's forehand down the line is too lengthy and the game goes to deuce.

Medvedev commits another double fault! Break point for Aliassime but Medvedev retrieves it immediately, and another good serve gives him advantage.

From behind the baseline, he grinds his way to another service game and he is now one game away from the semi-finals.

01:08 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 4-3 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Medvedev produces a to win the first point against serve but Aliassime battles back to lead 30-15. A forehand winner from Mevedev then lands on the line and he has a half-chance of a break.

The game goes to deuce, and a Medvedev backhand is too strong which lets Aliassime cling on.

01:02 PM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 4-2 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev's defences looking impregnable now, he holds serve to inch closer to the finish line. Will be a gritty victory if he can see it through.

12:55 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 3-2 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime needed that: his first serve starts to yields rewards again, but Medvedev is starting to win more of these longer rallies. He is like a limpet Aliassime cannot shake off, and he battles back to deuce! Another break in the Russian's favour that might well be the contest over.

Credit to Aliassime though, he keeps his poise to hold.

12:50 PM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 3-1 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

It's all looking very ominous for Aliassime now, who had the better of this contest for so long. Medvedev with a comfortable hold of serve to back up the break, winning the game 40-15.

12:47 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 2-1 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime tries a cheeky lob but underhits it with so much court to aim at and Medvedev has chance to break at 30-15 up. The Russian has two break points now, with Aliassime looking weary in the longer rallies. He misfired a cross-court forehand there.

And then Aliassime produces just his second double fault! Medvedev breaks! For the first time in four hours on court the No 2 seed has his nose in front n the scoreboard.

12:42 PM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 1-1 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Another magnificent escape from Medvedev, showing great speed of hand and foot to get to the net and level his service game 15-15.

But Aliassime then produces two superb winners, including his weaker backhand, down the line. Two break points.

Medvedev gets one of those straight back through, but his next serve is long. Aliassime tries to pressurise the second serve but miscues: deuce. The score returned to deuce on three separate occasions, but Medvedev eventually grinds out another game.

Will Aliassime regret missing those two break points?

12:36 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5, 0-1 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime will serve first in this decisive set. And he shows real poise to hold to love and steady himself after the disappointment of missing match point in the last set.

12:28 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Medvedev's is in a purple patch now, adrenaline and confidence coursing through him, and he races into a 40-0 lead.

But Aliassime rallies back to 40-30 after a wayward forehand from the Russian, and he steps towards the net to volley effectively and take it to deuce! That's the most animated celebration we have seen from Aliassime.

Unbelievable court coverage from Medvedev to meet a forehand and then he seals the fourth set with an ace!

12:23 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 6-5 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Medvedev controlling more of the rallies now, and he earns the first point of the game against serve. Medvedev's backhand is then too strong and Aliassime is level again.

Excellent volley-work from Aliassime again, moving forward to go 30-15 ahead. Despite Medvedev's winning another point, Aliassime's first serve does wonders again.

Medvedev takes the game to deuce with a cross-court backhand which landed on the line. And for the first time since the first set, Medvedev breaks Aliassime! He will now serve for the fourth set.

12:15 PM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 5-5 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Aliassime wins the first point after a loose Medvedev forehand, but yet again the advantage is wiped out by the next point. Medvedev then punches the air after winning the next point off his second serve to lead 30-15.

Medvedev's return is then called out, before a fault with his first serve. Perhaps a chance of a break at 30-30 for Aliassime.

Double fault! Those have been costly, that's his seventh of the match. Aliassime has match point!

But Medvedev produces a big first serve to get back to deuce. Then he goes through the gears to win the game, brilliant response.

12:10 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 4-5 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime has given Medvedev a chance of a break here at 30-30 after dragging a forehand into the net. After setting up another chance for a winner, Aliassime tries to be too precise with a forehand and over hits it with the court gaping!

Medvedev has a break point, but it is snatched away with an ace. The serve holds up well again to earn Aliassime advantage, and another big serve is unreturned. Can Aliassime pinch a break and win the match?

12:05 PM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 4-4 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Once again, the first point of a game goes against serve but Medvedev responds to win the next two points. The Russian looks determined to take this to a fifth set and he dispatches another service game.

12:02 PM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 3-4 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime's first serve continues to be an effective weapon and he leads 30-15. He rattles another ace straight down the T to go 40-15 in front and then the final serve of the game is too good for Medvedev. A great response to the Russian winning the first point of the game.

11:58 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 3-3 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Aliassime moving forward again to win the first point off Medvedev's serve. But yet again, Medvedev finds another response when he needs it most to win successive points and lead 30-15. Aliassime overhits a forehand by a hair, and Medvedev has two game points. He does so without much fuss and the fourth set is level once again.

11:55 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 2-3 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime flies through another game with a timely hold to love. It puts the pressure back on Medvedev. In truth, neither player looks like making inroads towards a break of serve just now.

11:53 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 2-2 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Aliassime thought he had a sniff of a break there, but Medvedev puts away the smash to level at 30-30 and then the Russian produces an ace to lead 40-30. Aliassime cannot return his next serve and that levels the set.

11:49 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 1-2 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime continues to look strong with the serve. Medvedev has done most of the running in this match - will that prove costly for him late on? Aliassime with a volleyed winner to tick off another service game. Medvedev is chuntering away at the umpire as he sits back in his chair.

11:45 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 1-1 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev overhits a cross-court backhead and Aliassime levels the game against serve at 15-15. The Russian responds with an ace though, before Aliassime produces an unplayable forehand return. Medvedev sees the game out though, and it starting to look more at peace with himself. Still no break point since the middle of the second set.

11:42 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 0-1 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime to serve first in the fourth set. Can he maintain the standard he has set so far or will he start to wilt mentally? Aliassime takes a 30-15 lead but Medvedev levels with an outrageous forehand down the line. Signs he might be emerging from his slight rut and loss of rhythm.

Aliassime steadies himself to win the game and hold though.

11:35 AM

Back in the contest

11:34 AM

Medvedev wins third set!

Aliassime gets one point back to keep his hopes alive, but then Medvedev wins the next two points to battle his way to victory in the third set.

11:32 AM

Medvedev 5 Aliassime 1 in tiebreaker at change of ends

Medvedev wins the first point with serve after the break and then lands an ace to seize a 4-1 lead. The serve goes back to Aliassime, but Medvedev takes advantage of his second serve to force a mistake. Medvedev now 5-1 up after they change ends.

11:30 AM

We're back under way

The roof is now fully closed and Medvedev has the serve.

11:25 AM

Medvedev leads 2-1 and has the serve...but rain stops play (temporarily)

Aliassime with an early gift to Medvedev on serve, but his play from the back of the court is once again superb: 1-1. A loose forehand gives Medvedev an early mini-break though and the Russian leads 2-1 and has the serve.

Specks of rain are now falling on the court; contrary to reports earlier, the roof was in fact not closed. Both players are back in their chairs. Talk about an inopportune moment to press pause!

11:22 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 6-6 Aliassime - third-set tiebreaker on the way

Medvedev once again digging out returns from miles behind the baseline, and he now leads 30-15 and is just two points from winning the set. Aliassime responds though with an overhead smash to level the game.

He holds his nerve then to see it out on serve, and we are heading to another tiebreaker.

11:16 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 6-5 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev with a lovely half-volley winner to go 30-0 up in his service game. It's looking heavily odds-on to be a second tie-break of the match.

It is a tremendous response from Aliassime though to level the game, once again controlling the baseline rally. The Canadian is just long with a return and then Medvedev lands another first serve to level the set. Aliassime must hold to stay in the set.

11:14 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 5-5 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

This is a tougher service game for Aliassime, nip and tuck at 30-30. But then Aliassime gets a stroke of good fortune with a net call and he steps in to clip a win around Medvedev. He follows that up with a great serve and winner to hold another service game.

11:09 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 5-4 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Alliasime has another sniff of a break at 30-0 up against the serve! He sensed his chance and stepped into the net.

Medvedev gets one point back thanks to an unforced error, and then a backhand is too strong from Aliassime. 30-30 and tense moments in the match.

Aliassime just snatches at a forehand, and Medvedev leads 40-30. Another loose forehand gives Medvedev the game and that was an escape from 30-0 down.

11:05 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 4-4 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Medvedev wins the first point against serve, not something that has happened very often. Loose unforced error from Medvedev lets Aliassime back to 15-15, though. Brilliant serving from Alliasime again to seize the initiative though, and then he shows delicate touch with a drop shot to go 40-15 up. From there he makes no mistake, and the set is level. No breaks as yet.

11:00 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 4-3 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Tennis of the highest quality from both players. Aliassime with a classy return to go 15-0 up but then Medvedev dug in with sneak a forehand past his opponent and draw level at 15-15.

Two strong first serves put the Russian 40-15 ahead, and he seals the game.

10:58 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 3-3 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime's service game looks rock solid, and it is another easy hold. Can he finally break Medvedev after taking him to deuce three times in this third set?

10:55 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 3-2 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

That was a rally to match the first-set epic, with both players close to the net and Medvedev displaying exceptional reflexes to win the point. That might be the springboard he needs because he goes on to claim his most comfortable service game for some time.

10:51 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 2-2 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

The roof has now been closed at the Rod Laver Arena. Aliassime starts his service game with another ace. The Canadian motors on to win another game with points to spare, this time with an excellent second serve, and he piles the pressure on Medvedev.

10:47 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 2-1* Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime is knocking on the door of another break here after an excellent return from deep in the court. Medvedev then missed his first serve, but he saved the point well with a backhand winner. Digging in.

Medvedev's drive volley earns him advantage and he manages to scrape through another service game.

10:43 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 3-6, 1-1 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Once again Aliassime's first serve is proving a decisive weapon in this match, and it is another service game secured with the minimum of fuss at 40-15. Quite the contrast with Medvedev's travails in the first game of this set.

10:39 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-6, 1-0 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

After both players departed for a short break, Medvedev will serve first knowing he must win this set to keep his Australian Open hopes alive.

Aliassime with a slightly wild return to let Medvedev get his nose in front at 30-15, and the Russian is not happy with the number of balls being supplied by the ball boys.

Alliasime does really well to open up space for his forehand again to force deuce. Then the Canadian misses a backhand slice to give Medvedev advantage, but we are back to deuce again after Medvedev's forehands is called out.

Medvedev just about gets the job done, but that was a struggle once again.

10:29 AM

Aliassime wins the second set 6-3

Aliassime starts this pivotal service game with consecutive aces! His serving has been much more consistent than Medvedev's this evening.

That's another booming first serve that Medvedev can only spoon up for an easy smash! Aliassime has three set points.

After several strong backhands from Aliassime, Medvedev's return is way too strong and that is the second set to the Canadian! A real surprise on the cards in Melbourne.

10:26 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 3-5 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Aliassime might not need to serve for the set - a backhand down the line after some good work from deep in the court has him 30-30 against the serve. In this set, Medvedev's first serve percentage has been 54 per cent while Aliassime's has held at 80 per cent.

Medvedev comes through the game after deuce, and Aliassime will now serve for the set.

10:21 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 2-5 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime's serve looks very difficult to break, but an unforced error with a forehand lets Medvedev reduce his lead to 30-15. Then Aliassime's so-called weakness, that double-handed backhand, stays strong and is too hot for Medvedev to handle. Another big first serve is overhit on return by Medvedev and Aliassime moves to within one game of the second set.

10:17 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 2-4 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev finally seems to have found some kind of service rhythm, seizing a 40-0 lead and winning the game with a 198kmph ace. Aliassime will need to win the set with his own serve.

10:13 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 1-4 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime's serve and volley skills serving him well against an opponent like Medvedev who is standing so far back. Aliassime follows that up with an ace to go 40-15 in front, and he swiftly secures the game. Another step closet to a two-set lead.

10:10 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 1-3 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev has a 30-15 with serve despite another double fault, and he walks over to his chair to change racket. It seems to do the trick as the Russian holds to win his first game of the second set.

10:07 AM

Quick reflexes from the umpire

10:06 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 0-3 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime is absolutely flying right now, stepping into a forehand winner down the line into the smallest of gaps to lead 30-15 in his service game. He follows that up with an ace - Aliassime is averaging around 75 per cent of first serves in at the moment - and then a drop shot and follow up volley secures a comfortable hold.

10:03 AM

Medvedev 6-7, 0-2 Aliassime* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev suddenly looking vert shaky behind his second serve and Aliassime moves into a 3-0 lead. A strong reply from the Russian though the Aliassime missing a sliced back hand, before a Medvedev ace puts him into a 40-30 lead. A wild Medvedev shot gets Aliassime back to deuce.

Medvedev struggling to get the job done on serve, and a sloppy forehand return gives Aliassime the chance to go a set and a break in front. Medvedev's set is called out and then just when the Russian looked in control of the rally an unforced error with a forehand is called out. Aliassime breaks!

09:55 AM

Medvedev* 6-7, 0-1 Aliassime (*denotes next server)

Aliassime begins the second set with a straightforward hold of serve. His first serve has been very impressive so far, he fully deserves to be leading this match.

09:49 AM

Aliassime wins the first set!

Medvedev is hanging on my his fingernails in another long rally, but somehow he salvages the point from well behind the baseline. 4-3 to Aliassime.

Then another twist...Medvedev produces another double fault to but Aliassime within two points of the set.

Another strong forehand from the Canadian is unreturned and he now leads 6-3: three set points!

That is quickly reduced to two thanks to a backhand down the line from Medvedev. Aliassime then has to rely on his second serve but a Medvedev forehand is a long and that is the first set settled! Aliassime takes it 7-6.

09:43 AM

Aliassime leads 4-2 in the tie break as they change ends

Aliassime has won five of six tie breaks coming into this match but Medvedev wins the first point with serve. Aliassime produces some more excellent shot-making to lead 2-1, but despite his best efforts he cannot shake off Medvedev, who levels thanks to an unforced error.

A double fault from Medvedev gifts Aliassime a 3-2 advantage. Then Aliassime once again dominates a longer rally, this time on second serve, and a forehand winner gives him a 4-2 lead and he has the serve.

09:37 AM

Medvedev* 6 Auger-Aliassime 6 (*denotes server)

Medvedev wins the first point against the serve, and then Aliassime misses another forehand to give the Russian a 30-0 lead against the serve. A chance for break-back.

Another forehand lets Aliassime down, finding the net! Medvedev has three break points. Aliassime finally lands a forehand to reduce the deficit to 40-15. Another unforced error gives Medvedev the game though, and a chance to win the set goes begging. We are heading for a tie break.

09:31 AM

Medvedev* 5 Auger-Aliassime 6 (*denotes server)

Tremendous athleticism from Aliassime to get up on his toes and win the first point with a forehand winner. Medvedev levels, but then takes on a risky forehand and Aliassime sneaks ahead. A chance of the match's first break perhaps?

Almost a painful moment of misfortune for Medvedev but Aliassime's forehand is out after clipping the net - 30-30. Brilliant forehand from Aliassime on the next point though and he has break point!

Aliassime's backhand looking solid again, but it's a wonderful backhand winner down the line from Medvedev to force deuce. Aliassime is matching Medvedev all the way, but Medvedev keeps getting out of trouble.

But then he misses an easy volley to win the game, back to deuce. Another big mistake from Medvedev to leave a backhand volley and the ball is called in. Another break point for Aliassime!

And would you believe it, a Medvedev double fault gifts it to him. The Canadian will serve for the set.

09:25 AM

The best rally of the match

09:24 AM

Medvedev 5 Auger-Aliassime* 5 (*denotes server)

Aliassime's double-handed backhand was questioned before the game, but he used it to good effect in that rally to assume a 30-0 lead in this service game. Medvedev's next return is too strong and Aliassime leads 40-0. And he finishes with an ace - another drama-free hold.

09:19 AM

Medvedev* 5 Auger-Aliassime 4 (*denotes server)

That highlight of the match so far and one of the best points of the tournament! Aliassime with a delicate drop shot, Medvedev did brilliantly to cover the court and keep it alive but Aliassime secured the point with the volley.

Medvedev responds to level the game, but an overhit backhand gives Aliassime a sniff of a break at 30-15.

Medvedev's serve clicks into gear to level at 30-30, before Aliassime mis-cues a forehand. That unforced error gives Medvedev the chance to win the game and some good backhand work does just that.

09:15 AM

Medvedev 4 Auger-Aliassime* 4 (*denotes server)

Aliassime's booming first serves are forcing Medvedev into retreat and he quickly assumes a 30-0 lead. Medvedev gouges out a strong return from way behind the baseline to win his first point, but Aliassime's first serve is too hot for him to handle again - 40-15 to the Canadian. Another straightforward hold.

09:11 AM

Medvedev* 4 Auger-Aliassime 3 (*denotes server)

Aliassime wins the first point of the game, with Medvedev not quite finding his backhand range. The Russian responds with an ace though, and then battles well to win the next point off his second serve. He goes on to secure another comfortable hold - no breaks in serve as yet.

09:09 AM

Medvedev 3 Auger-Aliassime* 3 (*denotes server)

Aliassime's game from the back of the court is holding up strongly, and his first serve strength once again helps him to a 40-15 lead in this service game. Both players have missed just three first serves combined so far. Aliassime wins the game with a volley.

09:03 AM

Medvedev 3* Auger-Aliassime 2 (*denotes server)

Aliassime is hanging on to Medvedev's coattails in the longer rallies, now 30-15 down in this game against serve, with the Russian unable to expose his backhand.

That Aliassime return has too much length though and Medvedev has two game points at 40-15. He converts after a strong backhand to hold serve again.

09:01 AM

Medvedev 2 Auger-Aliassime* 2 (*denotes server)

Superb return from Medvedev from three or four metres behind the baseline to lead 15-0 against serve. The Russian then slashed at a forehand after a longer rally when there was a chance to to win another point against serve, 15-15.

Double fault is a worrying sign for Aliassime and Medvedev leads 30-15. More strong baseline play from Medvedev but Aliassime responds with a forehand winner down the line to level the game. His first set is then too hot for the Russian to handle, and then a Hawkeye check goes in Aliassime's favour to hold serve.

08:54 AM

Medvedev* 2 Auger-Aliassime 1 (*denotes server)

More encouraging backhand return from Aliassime to level the third game at 15-15. Medvevev's first serve is looking very impressive though, and another ace extends his advantage to 40-15. Another ace secures the game and another hold of serve.

08:52 AM

Medvedev 1 Auger-Aliassime* 1 (*denotes server)

Serving is the one facet of the game where Aliassime is tipped to cause Medvedev some problems and he starts his first service game with consecutive aces, just like his opponent, to lead 30-0.

Then there is a test of Aliassime's second serve and Medvedev reduces the arrears. Strong response from Aliassime though to win the next two points and hold his serve. The crowd are getting behind the Canadian.

08:48 AM

First set: Daniil Medvedev* 1 Felix Auger-Aliassime 0 (*denotes server)

Medvedev to serve first and he begins with consecutive aces to lead 30-0. On the next point, Aliassime struggles to return a forehand and it sits up for the Russian to smash an easy winner. After a longer rally of baseline exchanges, an Aliassime backhand flies out and that's a straightforward hold of serve for Medvedev.

08:39 AM

The players are making their way on to the court

Medvedev is chasing more hard court success having won last year's US Open. The winner of this match will play Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals.

08:37 AM

Aliassime on his way to beating Marin Cilic

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada on his way to beating Marin Cilic of Croatia - Getty Images
Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada on his way to beating Marin Cilic of Croatia - Getty Images

Some judges think that cross-court backhand could be a technical weakness in Aliassime's game that Medvedev could exploit today. The Russian has won all three meetings between the players.

08:30 AM

Tim Henman is backing Medvedev

I look at their game styles and I think Medvedev is going to come through this one.

08:22 AM

The story of the previous quarter-final

08:15 AM

Daniil Medvedev strong favourite to progress to Australian Open semi-finals

It's the second day of quarterfinals at Melbourne Park and second-seeded Daniil Medvedev is expecting one of the toughest challenges yet in his bid to win a second consecutive Grand Slam singles title when he plays 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime. They've played twice recently: in the U.S. Open semifinals and in the ATP Cup this year, and the Russian player has won both matches.

Medvedev took time to compliment both himself and the Canadian: "It means that we are doing pretty good job, I think, in our careers ... it's later stages of the biggest tournaments in the world. Last two I managed to have the edge on him, but he's a phenomenal player."

In the previous round, Medvedev apologised to opponent Maxime Cressy after taking his frustrations out on the young American during their fourth-round clash at the Australian Open.

Cressy plays a throwback serve-and-volley game and Medvedev's emotions threatened to boil over after he lost the third set but he stayed just cool enough to win 6-2 7-6 (4) 6-7 (4) 7-5.

Early in the fourth set, title favourite Medvedev shouted: "This is so boring," while he loudly railed against his bad luck as Cressy repeatedly hit the lines on big points.

Medvedev is known for his hot-headedness but he was contrite about his behaviour after the match and revealed it was fuelled partly by annoyance that he has not played more on the central Rod Laver Arena.

The second seed said: "I was quite mad today because of a few things. I'm working on myself, and that's why I managed to win and still kept my composure, as much as I could, because sometimes I go much more crazier than I did today.

"I just felt a little bit not perfect today for a few reasons. First of all, I really don't know what should I do to play on centre courts in grand slams, because I won the last grand slam. I'm highest seed here and to play against Maxime would be easier on Rod Laver - more space."

Aliassime was the player who vanquished Dan Evans, who was the last Briton standing in the men's singles.