Medvedev stuns top-seeded Sinner at Wimbledon, first loss for Italian as world No 1

Daniil Medvedev engineered a five-set takedown of top-seeded Jannik Sinner to book his second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final

Daniil Medvedev Wimbledon 2024 | Chryslène Caillaud / Panoramic Daniil Medvedev Wimbledon 2024 | Chryslène Caillaud / Panoramic
Wimbledon •Quarter-final • completed
See draw

Daniil Medvedev did not gain mention by many pundits as a pre-tournament favourite to win Wimbledon. After his dramatic 6-7(7) 6-4 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3 victory over top-seeded Jannik Sinner on Tuesday on Centre Court, that will change. 

Medvedev ended a personal five-match losing streak against the top seed, and erased some of the demons from squandering a two sets to love lead against the Italian in this year’s Australian Open final as he snapped Sinner’s nine-match winning streak and handed the 22-year-old his first loss since he became the ATP’s top-ranked player on June 10. 

Medvedev, into his second consecutive semi-final at Wimbledon, will face either Carlos Alcaraz or Tommy Paul in the semi-final.

A tough day for Sinner, and some physical issues

Sinner fought valiantly after suffering physical problems in the third set, but couldn’t erase a two sets to one deficit against his rival as he dropped to 6-9 lifetime in five-setters, and 42-4 on the season.

“I knew if I wanted to beat Jannik it would need to be a tough match,” Medvedev said. “He’s not a guy you can beat easy anymore, even if I felt at one moment he was not feeling that good.”

The Italian struggled physically for much of the contest. After displaying some concerning signs of fatigue in the opening set, things appeared to be escalating in the third. Trailing by a break at 2-1, the Italian wearily slumped down in his chair as he sought the attention of doctors, who checked his vital signs and quickly whisked him off the court. 

He returned over ten minutes later, but didn’t look much better. 

Gradually, however, Sinner came back to life. 

It was when Medvedev served for the third set at 5-4 that Sinner re-introduced himself to the fray, earning his first break points of the match and breaking to level at 5-all. 

Two games later, after Medvedev had brushed aside two set points while serving at 6-5, the pair went to a tiebreak, where Medvedev held his ground and ended Sinner’s run of nine consecutive tiebreaks won with an ace on his first set point. 

It proved to be far from a turning point, however, as Sinner attacked the Russian relentlessly in the fourth set and earned two more breaks of serve to run away with the set and force a record 36th five-set match in this year’s men’s singles draw at Wimbledon – the all-time Open Era record. 

The first match between top-5 players at Wimbledon this year, going five? Only fitting. 

It was Medvedev who took the upper hand in the decider, converting his third break point of the fourth game to lead 3-1, and surviving a five-deuce battle in the next game to hold for 4-1. 

He kept control the rest of the way and served out the contest on his first try, sealing his victory with a backhand down the line winner after four hours and one minute of quality tennis. 

“I’m happy still that I managed to stay at a high level,” Medvedev said. “I think it was great points, great match – I’m happy to win, and really happy with my game looking forward.”

Best performance on grass?

In addition to earning his first win over a reigning world No 1 on grass, Medvedev has now recorded multiple top-10 wins on grass at the same event for the first time. He improves to 18-5 lifetime at Wimbledon and may have played his best ever match on the surface.

“I don’t think there’s any question that it was by far his best performance ever [on grass],” said three-time champion John McEnroe, who was commentating the match for ESPN. “I don’t think there’s anything he didn’t do well.”

“He was willing to change the direction of the ball from crosscourt to down the line, the backhand down the line was a beauty, he served extremely well, but I think mentally was the key,” said Mary Joe Fernandez, also commentating for ESPN. “Remember he had lost to Sinner five straight times, and a huge one in Australia. [It’s impressive] for him to rebound on a surface where I would have given Sinner a big advantage.”

Two wins on Centre Court

Medvedev has made much of his success on No.1 Court at Wimbledon and joked about his inability to carry that level to Centre Court. He appears to be figuring it out, and he spoke about it in his post-match interview.

“It’s my first time winning two matches on Centre Court at Wimbledon,” he joked. “Usually I would win either one or zero, so this is a record already!”

People in this post

Your comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *