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Medvedev figures out Cressy puzzle to reach quarter-finals

The Russian was frustrated at times by Cressy’s serve and volley style but came through in four sets

Daniil Medvedev R4 AO 2022 AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Australian Open 2022 | Draw Order of play 

For a while at the Australian Open on Monday, it seemed as if the serve and volley game-style of Maxime Cressy was getting into Daniil Medvedev’s head.

The Russian, trying to win his second straight Grand Slam title, found himself in a scrap when the American took the third set and stayed with him on serve in the fourth. But the No 2 seed knuckled down, got the break he required and duly clinched a 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-5 victory.

Medvedev will now play Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last eight after the Canadian beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, 7-6 (4) to reach his third straight Grand Slam quarter-final.

Medvedev lets his frustrations show

Medvedev began well, taking the first set with relative ease but the match soon became much closer as world No 70 Cressy, one of the few serve and volley exponents on the Tour, began to get under Medvedev’s skin.

The Russian pinched the second set on the tiebreak but French-born Cressy hit back to win the third and early in the fourth set, Medvedev’s frustrations began to show as he yelled: “This is so boring,” and later said: “This is the unluckiest day of my life” as an attempted pass fell back his side.

Cressy went to the net 135 times, winning 89 of them, and Medvedev was often left stranded as the American cut off the points with crisp volleys, while 18 aces also helped his cause.

Medvedev: “I’m not happy with what I said”

Medvedev told Eurosport that he was not happy with what he said, but that he’d tried to get inside the head of Cressy to unsettle him if he could.

Former world No 1 and Eurosport commentator Mats Wilander said Cressy’s style of play had unsettled Medvedev.

“Maxime Cressy takes the racquet out of your hand, you are not used to playing a serve and volleyer, compared to my era when I used to play against John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg – so you saw the style all the time,” Medvedev said. “On today’s tour, you don’t really see it so of course you don’t know how to face it. Where do you stand to return? Do I stand far back? Do I come further in? In the end, it’s irritating.

“It was very unusual for a player to say what Daniil did out loud and then you confess to the fact that “yeah, I was trying to get into his head”. Everyone is trying to get into each other’s head, somehow, but you are trying to keep it within the rules. In the 80s, there was one particular player, leftie American, Jimmy Connors, who definitely tried to get into his opponents’ head. It’s very honest from Medvedev.”

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