US Open: Medvedev overcomes Wawrinka challenge despite thigh injury

A thigh injury looked as if it might end Daniil Medvedev's US Open, but he fought through it to beat Stan Wawrinka in four sets.

Daniil Medvedev celebrates his win over Stan Wawrinka   -  Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev battled through a thigh injury to reach the semifinals of the US Open with an absorbing 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Stan Wawrinka.

Russian fifth seed Medvedev has been consistently booed by the crowds at Flushing Meadows after appearing to give a middle-finger gesture to the fans during his third-round victory against Feliciano Lopez.

Medvedev has thrived in his role of tournament villain and was jeered again upon entering Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Tuesday.

However, after his exploits against Wawrinka, Medvedev is deserving of more admirers than dissenters and he was treated to a warm ovation as he knocked out Novak Djokovic's conqueror.

His performance while fighting an issue with his left thigh, on which he received considerable strapping in the first set, was one of craft, intelligence and considerable grit.

Medvedev was full value for his victory and will now have three days to nurse his thigh before meeting Roger Federer or Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the final.

 

He struck for the first break of serve in the opening game of the match and it was not until Wawrinka produced a tremendous forehand to bring up three break-back points that parity was restored.

Both players then held from 0-30 down to set up a captivating tie-break dictated by Medvedev, moving Wawrinka round the court with a combination of drop shots that barely edged over the net and backhand lobs that sent the Swiss scampering back to the baseline.

Wawrinka, however, won four straight points from 5-2 down to bring up set point but he failed to take it and handed Medvedev the opener when a return went long.

The 2016 champion then ballooned a forehand long to give Medvedev a break for a 3-1 lead in the second.

Despite being obviously hindered by his thigh, Medvedev did not face a break point in the second, his ploy of focusing his energy on his own service games rather than Wawrinka's paying dividends.

 

However, he was immediately under pressure in the third, as a pair of double faults handed the chance for Wawrinka to take a 2-0 lead that he snaffled instantly.

Even with his injury, Medvedev showed remarkable character. In a mammoth ninth game, Wawrinka spurned a set point with a dreadful forehand unforced error and saw another go begging as Medvedev forced him to save four break points before a return into the net halved the deficit.

However, Wawrinka's first service game of the fourth was a disappointing one and Medvedev took full advantage, breaking to love as his 34-year-old opponent netted a backhand volley.

From there all the momentum was with Medvedev and he refused to let it slip, wrapping up a hugely impressive display in fitting fashion with a perfectly placed lob.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Daniil Medvedev [5] bt Stan Wawrinka [23] 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 3-6 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 36/36
Wawrinka – 38/38

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev – 11/12
Wawrinka – 10/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev – 4/8
Wawrinka – 2/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Medvedev – 60
Wawrinka – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Medvedev – 73/58
Wawrinka – 78/38

TOTAL POINTS
Medvedev – 126
Wawrinka – 114