Daniil Medvedev beat compatriot Andrey Rublev to reach the US Open semifinals on Wednesday, but warned that a player might “die” in what he called “brutal” conditions at the tournament.
Medvedev triumphed over Rublev in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 6-4, but both players could be seen struggling with the heat inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion, took two medical breaks during the match, both times using an inhaler in an attempt to overcome side effects of the grueling conditions.
Both players continued to use towels throughout the match to deal with the copious levels of sweat in the energy-sapping encounter.
Midway through the third set, the 27-year-old Medvedev could be heard saying to the camera, “one player is going to die and you are going to see.”
After the victory, Medvedev called the conditions “brutal” and explained that he couldn’t see the ball by the end of the first set.
“The only good thing I see in these conditions is that both suffer,” Medvedev said during his on-court interview. “It was tough for both of us. There were some ups and downs but that is so normal. At the end of the first set I sort of could not see the ball anymore. I played with sensations.”
“I tried to go for it, tried to run and he did the same. Before points I was like: ‘Wow, he can’t run anymore’, so I tried to go and make him run and run and run, but he was there all the time. But we were tired all the time. Brutal conditions and super tough to win.”
In such exhausting and humid conditions, it was Medvedev who was able to dig into the necessary energy reserves to claim the victory and book his spot in the US Open semifinals.
There was little to separate the two Russians – who have previously called themselves “really close friends” with Rublev the godfather to Medvedev’s daughter – with long rallies and games making it even harder for the players on court.
But as Rublev began to wilt, Medvedev was able to force enough errors to win in straight sets – a monster final game epitomized the victory, lasting over 15 minutes before Medvedev was able to force one final error from his compatriot on his fifth match point after two hours and 48 minutes.
After battling the conditions and a tough opponent, Medvedev showed why he’s a real contender for this year’s title, coming from a break down in each set in the impressive victory.
He will now face either Carlos Alcaraz or Alexander Zverev – who play later on Wednesday – for a place in the final.