THE BREAK: Medvedev was mixing it up with the US Open fans earlier in the tournament.

NEW YORK—It was survival of the fittest on a hot day at the 2023 US Open, and 2021 champion Daniil Medvedev proved more up to the task in a quarterfinal clash with Andrey Rublev, outlasting the No. 6 seed, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

"The only good thing in these conditions is that both suffer!" Medvedev said with his inimitable gallows humor, revealing he had difficulty seeing the ball after the first set during his on-court interview.

Medvedev trailed his childhood friend by early breaks in the all three sets before turning each around in his favor, making it through sweltering conditions to advance into his seventh career Grand Slam semifinals after two hours and 47 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Rublev fell to 0-9 in Grand Slam quarterfinals.

"I could talk a lot, brutal conditions for both of us," Medvedev said after the match. "I mean, I don't know if it could be seen through the camera, because we are sweating so much and use a lot of towels, I have no skin left on my nose here, and, like, here it's red, but it's not because of the sun so it's not like you're burned but I have no skin left. I just saw Andrey in the locker room and his face very red, and it's also not because of the sun so I guess it's the same. That tells everything, like we left everything out there."


The former world No. 1 didn’t escape entirely unscathed; the breathing issues that dogged him in his fourth-round encounter with Alex de Minaur persisted on Wednesday, requiring a hit of an inhaler during a changeover in the second set and again in the third. The weather can’t cool off quick enough for Medvedev, who will likely face another physical challenge in the last four as he awaits the winner of defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and No. 12 seed Alexander Zverev on Friday.

Rating his form at 10 out of 10, for Alcaraz, "It needs to be 11 out of 10," Medvedev said, "because yeah, that's how Carlos is, very strong. Even here I think he lost one set but I watch some matches, sometimes on breakpoints he runs for the passing shots. Incredible stuff.

"So let's see tonight. Let's see how Sascha recovered. I don't know. It's going to be interesting to see, because he was not in good shape two days ago."

But first the Rainbow Six Siege Game Ambassador had to edge past Rublev, a rival from his junior days and now godfather to his daughter Alisa. In seven previous meetings, Medvedev won five but Rublev claimed two of the last three heading into their last-eight match-up in Flushing Meadows.


Rublev indeed enjoyed a fast start to their match following Aryna Sabalenka’s victory over Zheng Qinwen, who downplayed the conditions in her post-match press conference. With the Ashe roof partially closed, the 25-year-old had the advantage of playing without full sun, but the humid conditions were palpable as Medvedev worked his way into the match.

"When he started the match, I think he won 10 points in a row and hitting on the line," Medvedev said. "I was like, 'Okay, I'm going to have to be better than I am right now.' It was the same pretty every match. De Minaur threw me off the court 6-2. So I was like, 'Okay, I need to be better.'

"That's what I'm really proud of. Sometimes it's not easy to come back in the matches, to stay there with the tough conditions. Andrey and Alex are probably one of the best physical guys on tour, and I managed to make them suffer. I suffered myself also but I managed to make them suffer. All of this is good for the confidence. Is good for next matches."

The No. 3 seeded-Medvedev, who dealt unruly crowd behavior earlier in the week, reeled off six of seven games from 0-3 down, and pulled off a similar Houdini comeback in the second to put himself a set from the semifinals.

Rublev saved his deepest push for the third when he emerged from another exchange of breaks to put himself up 4-2 as a frustrated Medvedev quipped of the heat, "One day, a player's gonna die, and then you'll see." Medvedev would nonetheless come back from there, winning the next three games and saving a break point in an extended ninth game.

"Maybe I'm going to finish my career and nothing is gonna happen and then it's fine, then I'm talking for nothing," said Medvedev, "but the question is we don't want something to happen and then say, Oh, my God, Medvedev said this a couple of years ago.

"I don't have real solutions but it's still better to speak a little bit about it before something happens," he added.

Serving to stay in the match, Rublev missed forehand long up game point while Medvedev tracked a drop shot to earn his first match point. Rublev saved two with some strong serving and two others with audacious shotmaking from the forehand, but a forehand wide pulled up a fifth opportunity for Medvedev to make the semifinals.

Medvedev played impeccable defense when it mattered most, drawing one last error from his rival to edge over the finish line in just under three hours.

"If I compare myself to two years ago, I would say definitely not worse," said Medvedev. "It was enough two years ago. But to me, to continue this way, two more matches to go."