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Medvedev hoping third time’s the charm in Australian Open final after Zverev classic

Daniil Medvedev hopes it will be a case of third time lucky when he faces Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open final, having mounted a stunning fightback to overcome Alexander Zverev in the last four.

Third seed Medvedev found himself two sets down to Zverev in Friday’s semi-final, but the Russian dug deep to edge two nail-biting tiebreaks en route to a 5-7 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win.

Medvedev was two points away from defeat in the fourth-set tiebreak, but he fought back to reach his third grand slam final at the end of a gruelling four-hour, 18-minute contest.

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The 27-year-old has previously reached the showpiece match at Melbourne Park on two occasions, but he was beaten by Novak Djokovic at the 2021 tournament and by Rafael Nadal in 2022.

Asked about those defeats in his on-court interview, Medvedev said: “First of all, we say third time lucky so let’s see.

“I can say from experience it doesn’t always work… but hopefully in Australia they have this phrase!

“It will mean a lot because this court is not my best court in terms of my performance and self-esteem and that’s why I have had to dig deep.

“I will be the happiest man on the planet [if I win] but I will have to play pretty well and win three sets on Sunday.”

Medvedev – who will take on Sinner in Sunday’s final after the Italian stunned Djokovic in the semi-finals – hit 22 more winners in the final three sets than he did in the first two.

The world number three admitted luck was on his side in the tiebreaks but was pleased to edge a lengthy battle after working on his endurance ahead of the season.

“I have never made it that tough and I’m happy about it,” he said. “Before, my statistic on five-set matches was not that good and physically and mentally, it’s tough.

“Many times, in the fifth I was not strong enough, so I’m happy. One month ago, I wanted to change a little and be strong mentally. I try to focus more, but I am far from being perfect.

“I made better shots that I didn’t before and started to serve better. In the tiebreaks I got a little bit lucky at 5-5 on return.

“The slice was intentional, but the drop shot with back spin against the wind was not intentional. Sometimes you have to be lucky and today is my day.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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