Felix Auger-Aliassime’s breakthrough at a grand slam will have to wait a little longer.
The 21-year-old Canadian was in position to upset No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, but the Russian rallied from two sets down to defeat Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-4. The match took 4 hours, 42 minutes and ended well past midnight in Melbourne.
Medvedev will meet fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals.
“Felix was playing unbelievable in the first two sets,” Medvedev said on court after the match. “He was serving great and he was all over the place. I didn’t know what to do. I thought to myself, and people aren’t going to like this, what would Novak (Djokovic) do?”
After a smattering of boos at Rod Laver Arena, Medvedev continued.
“I thought, I am going to make him work and fight until the last point. I managed to raise my level during the (third-set) tiebreak.”
Auger-Aliassime, seeded ninth, had a match point in the fourth set against Medvedev at 4-5, but the defending US Open champion dialed up one of his 15 aces, then closed out the game.
“I was able to hit a serve (on match point),” Medvedev said. “If it was a second-serve, who knows what happens?”
Medvedev then broke Auger-Aliassime when the Canadian double-faulted, and held serve to force a decisive fifth set.
Medvedev broke Auger-Aliassime at 1-1 early in the fifth set to take the early lead and never gave it back.
Medvedev has rallied from two sets down twice in his career, the first coming last year at Wimbledon against Marin Cilic.
Auger-Aliassime had a chance to win in straight sets when the third set reached a tiebreaker following 12 consecutive service holds, but Medvedev jumped up early and easily won the tiebreak 7-2.
Auger-Aliassime reached the semifinals of the US Open last fall, but lost to Medvedev in straight sets. That remains the rising star’s best performance at a major. Medvedev then went on to upset Djokovic in the final to capture the first major of his career.
Medvedev has now won 12 straight grand slam matches.