Medvedev advanced after holding off Hurkacz’s comeback effort in a grueling four-hour set that featured multiple rallies of 20 or more strokes. He will face Alexander Zverev for a spot in the final, as the Olympic gold medalist defeated Carlos Alcaraz 6-1, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4. Also read: Australian Open: Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff advanced to the quarterfinals
Medvedev, who won the US Open in 2021 and has reached two Australian finals, appeared to be on track for a routine victory when he led 4-2 in the fourth set, but Hurkacz improved his game to force a decider.
Medvedev took the key break in the seventh game of the fifth and held on to win, capped by a drop shot.
“I’m so destroyed right now,” Medvedev said during his on-court interview, his hands clenched behind his head. “I was feeling very tough physically in the send set already.”
Medvedev, rated third, has had a tough run in Melbourne, including a nearly 4½-hour, five-set second-round encounter that ended close to 4 a.m., when he said he was already thinking about the flight home. Also read: Australian Open 2024: Lleyton Hewitt son Cruz falls in junior first round
The trip home came up again against Hurkacz, and Medvedev vowed to abandon the game plan and do anything he could to turn things around. That includes reverting to a dangerous serve-volley technique on certain points, as well as stepping up near the baseline to receive serves, which is much closer than he typically is due to his deep placement.