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Match point down, Daniil Medvedev denies Felix Auger-Aliassime in instant Australian Open classic


Felix Auger-Aliassime won the first set he played against Daniil Medvedev. The Russian then won the next seven in a row, claiming victories at 2018 Toronto, the 2021 US Open and this year’s ATP Cup before Wednesday's meeting.A visual story from Matt Fitzgerald


FAA struck first in a humid opening set to put it on his racquet at 6-5. He couldn’t serve it out though, spraying three consecutive unforced errors. Two points later, a double fault confirmed the No. 2 seed would stick around longer.


The 21-year-old quickly shook it off by displaying the steadier play in the tiebreaker to clinch it, 7-6 (4). Medvedev provided five unforced errors including two double faults.


Momentum stayed with the Canadian as he bolted out to the first three games of set two. His break came after Medvedev failed to convert one of four game points, with the forehand growing as an area of concern.


Auger-Aliassime maintained the advantage to ride out the second set, 6-3, with the Rod Laver Arena roof partially closing while the players finished it out. A long backhand by Medvedev ended the set.


Medvedev saved a crucial break point at 1-1, 30-40, in the third set with just his third forehand winner—this one an inside-out bullet. Both faced moments of pressure later: Medvedev holding from 4-4, 0-30 and FAA from 4-5, 15-30, before arriving at another tiebreaker.


The subsequent tiebreaker was paused with Medvedev holding a mini break at 2-1 as rain began to pick up. Once the roof was closed and play resumed, it was all the reigning US Open champion's. Serve and volleys boosted him to seal it, 7-6 (2).


Neither player managed to make an impact through the first half of Set 4. FAA saved break point with ace No. 18 for 5-4, then reached match point when Medvedev double faulted. The Russian erased it with his biggest serve up til then, a 132 m.p.h. bomb out wide and held.


At 5-5, 40-30, Auger-Aliassime slowed up on Medvedev's crosscourt backhand reply. The shot landed in, a costly error in judgment as successive unforced errors handed Medvedev the break. The 25-year-old served it out in a wild final game, going from 40-0 to deuce, before rushing to block a tremendous volley.


Early in the decider, Auger-Aliassime had three break points in the second game. Medvedev wiped them all away, then broke for 2-1 with the help of two double faults from his opponent.


At 2-3 in the fifth set, Auger-Aliassime took a medical timeout to receive treatment on his right ankle.


At 5-4, Medvedev erased two break points with tremendous poise. After 4 hours and 42 minutes, the world No. 2 completed the comeback from match point down: 6-7 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-4, to keep his bid alive for a second consecutive major title.


Asked by Jim Courier how he got through this one, Medvedev trolled to mixed reactions, "I told myself: what Novak would do?” Stefanos Tsitsipas awaits in the final four.