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Medvedev Ends Eubanks’ Cinderella Run for First Wimbledon Semifinal

Daniil Medvedev of Russia reacts while fighting off Christopher Eubanks in five sets. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

Wimbledon—No. 1 Court resembled a sink hole for Daniil Medvedev, who was digging himself into deeper danger.

An ornery Medvedev hit an errant ball that struck a court-side camera operator, barked at chair umpire Damien Dumusois after receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct call and was steamrolled in the second-set by the brilliance of a red-hot Christopher Eubanks.

Fighting battles on multiple fronts, Medvedev calmed his nerve, began stinging his serve and hit his way into his maiden Wimbledon semifinal.

A resilient Medvedev ended Eubanks’ inspired Cinderella run with a gritty 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 triumph.

“A moment in match where I completely lost the game itself and he played well I started to sink, I started to do a lot of mistakes, not serving well,” Medvedev said. “In third set, I managed to start to build something and not lose 6-1 and then it helped me.

“Starting from the tiebreaker I managed to play amazing and I’m really happy about it.”

The 2021 US Open champion smacked 25 aces against 3 double faults and cleaned up his act considerably as the match progressed.

Wimbledon stats credited Medvedev with 46 winners against just 8 unforced errors over five sets, while Eubanks lit it up with 70 winners, but also scattered 49 errors—41 more than his opponent.

The four-hour victory vaults Medvedev into the final four for the first time where he will face world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz for a spot in Sunday’s final in a battle of US Open champions.

In a battle of 20-year-old stars and former doubles partners, Alcaraz defeated Holger Rune 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4 for his first Wimbledon semifinal.

The Alcaraz-Medvedev match is a rematch of the Indian Wells final, which the Spaniard won 6-3, 6-2 last March. Medvedev won their lone grass-court meeting 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 at the 2021 Wimbledon.

“We played two times: one was here at Wimbledon,” Alcaraz said. “It’s gonna be really tough—his game suits grass really well. You can’t play semifinal every year so I’m gonna enjoy this moment and prepare for the match once it gets closer.”

For four sets, Eubanks went toe-to-toe with the man who ousted him from the Miami Open quarterfinals and outplayed Medvedev for stretches of this rematch.

In the final set, Medvedev elevated his game to a place Eubanks could not reach.

Still, it’s been a remarkable run for Eubanks, who was ranked No. 119 as recently as March when he made his Masters breakthrough in Miami qualifying for the tournament and reeling off six wins in a row to reach the quarterfinals where he lost to Medvedev 6-3, 7-5.

Walking off the court today, Eubanks received a rousing ovation from fans who thoroughly appreciated this inspired run that saw Eubanks out-duel No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets for his first Top 5-win and carry a career-best nine-match winning streak into his maiden major quarterfinal.

The Atlanta-born Eubanks showed his class in defeat flashing a heart symbol to the crowd and stopping to sign autographs. Mallorca champion Eubanks was playing to join John McEnroe and David Nalbandian as the third man to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals in his tournament debut. For four sets, it looked like he just might pull it off.

The 6’6” Medvedev is a menacing server, but Eubanks broke the Russian three times in a row reeling off seven straight games to rampage through the second set and go up a break in the third.

Empowered by that dominant display, Eubanks unleashed his serve and forehand to extend his lead.

Medvedev is a master of conjuring counterstrikes on the move—see here for a prime example:

An oppressive Eubanks gave him little room to operate in the third set. Eubanks served 80 percent, won 20 of 25 points played on his serve and won 11 of 15 net points seizing the third set.

Tension escalated into the fourth-set tiebreaker. When Eubanks sent a backhand beyond the baseline, Medvedev had the mini break and 3-1 lead.

The two-time all-American at Georgia Tech came right back firing a forehand winner and attacking to draw a netted pass pulling even for 3-3.

Pouncing on a mid-court forehand, Medvedev edged ahead 4-3. Threading the needle with a backhand down the line, Medvedev drew an errant running forehand to go up 5-3.

Challenging the American’s forehand, Medvedev drew another forehand error for triple set point.

Eubanks saved the first set point, but bumped a short forehand volley into net on the second set point.

In that third set, Medvedev served 73 percent, pumped 10 aces and won 28 of 30 points played on his serve refusing to wilt amid a severe stress test.

After leveling, Medvedev trotted off the court for a brief bathroom break and returned recharged.

Perhaps still ruing that missed volley on set point, Eubanks unraveled to start the decider.

Slapping a forehand into net to face triple break point, a deflated Eubanks clanked his sixth double fault to gift-wrap the love break and a 1-0 lead to the Miami Open champion.

Medvedev thumped his 25th ace to back up the break for 2-0.

While Medvedev was sharpening his game, Eubanks lost his edge and his range with a flurry of untimely errors.

Trying to jam a backhand inside the line, the American scattered it wide as Medvedev broke again for a 3-0 lead.

Producing periods of brilliant tennis for much of the first four sets, Eubanks’ dramatic dip over a 10-minute span put him in a major hole.

The third-ranked Russian repelled a break point extending his advantage to 4-0.

Lashing a forehand down the line, Eubanks held in the fifth game cracking a smile and pumping his first to show the No. 1 Court crowd he was still engaged despite the deficit.

Once Medvedev had the break he never let it go in the decider topping Eubanks for the second time in as many meetings.

The 27-year-old Medvedev improved to 46-8 this season and raised his five-set record to 4-10.

Alcaraz and Medvedev are tied for the ATP Tour lead with five titles apiece this season.

Facing the fast hands of Alcaraz, whose return game former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini compares to Novak Djokovic, Medvedev knows the key to success: Serve with authority.

“You have to serve well and do a lot of aces,” Medvedev said. “Sometimes you can play on grass almost the best match of your life and can lose in three tiebreakers. I’m hoping to serve well.”