MELBOURNE – Invincible Daniil Medvedev beat defending champion and tough veteran John Millman to edge closer to a third consecutive Australian Open final on Wednesday.
The seventh-seeded Russian, who lost in 2021 at Melbourne Park to Novak Djokovic and then clashed with Rafael Nadal last year, is in contention for an Australian wildcard berth 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 at Margaret Court Arena.
Then he will meet the dangerous American Sebastian Korda, who made the final of the Adelaide International this month, or the Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki.
Medvedev is equal to Nadal and is scheduled to meet him in the last eight.
But with the Spaniard’s shock loss on Wednesday to Mackenzie McDonald, her path to a third final has been cleared.
“The game was great. “Even the scores in the second and third sets did not reflect everything on the court,” said the Russian.
“He finished me three times in the first set, which doesn’t happen very often. I’m a little disappointed in myself, but he played amazing.
The Russian dropped just three games to demolish Marcos Giron in the first round, but met tougher resistance from Millman early on, with a long rally.
They battled it out in the first set with both struggling on serve, before the world number 8 broke for the second time to seal the set.
Medvedev upped the ante in the second set, and when Millman scored to give him a 2-1 advantage, he put his feet on the ground in complete control.
There was no way back for the Australian, with Medvedev in the zone as he raced to victory.
“It’s very difficult for both of us,” said Medvedev, who is aiming to become just the fourth man in the Open season to reach three consecutive Australian Open finals, after Djokovic, Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl.
“But I was surprised.”