Second seed Daniil Medvedev ended qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp’s battling run to reach the US Open semi-finals and keep his bid for a maiden Grand Slam trophy alive.
Medvedev into third straight US Open semi. The Russian dropped his first set of the fortnight, but only after winning a bagel second stanza against qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp.
The surprise quarterfinalist showed he belonged by winning the third and battle to 5-all in the fourth, but Medvedev avoided any further drama by breaking the final game of a 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 win.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2021
This one's gonna be good. pic.twitter.com/9SJzEpQq5r
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2021
“I’m happy with my game in the fourth set because on my serve I almost lost maybe two points,” said the Russian. “At 6-5, he got a little bit tight, and I managed to do it without the tiebreaker,”
No surprise, the high-IQ Medvedev was right on the money with that stat—on his first serve, he won 21 of 23 points in the fourth set. For the match, he converted first-serve points at an 83% clip, while winning 42% of total points on the return.
“In 2019 it was my first Grand Slam breakthrough. New York is already my heart,” the 25-year-old said in his on-court interview.
“So semi-finals again, I want to do a bit better than the last few times and do this last test which is the toughest.”
He had not dropped a set en route to the last four and looked as though he would continue that streak as he took a two-set lead in under an hour.
Van de Zandschulp, who has spent 22 hours on court in his run from qualifying to the quarter-finals, was struggling to move fluently and received treatment on his thigh at the end of the second set.
However, he took advantage of a dip in Medvedev’s focus, creating three break points in the world number two’s opening service game before eventually breaking a for a 3-2 lead.
He held off Medvedev to serve out the set but the Russian upped his pace, racing through his service games to put the pressure back on the world number 117.
Van de Zandschulp saved the first match point with a wonderful serve and volley but was unable to stop Medvedev from advancing.
He has, however, enjoyed a fantastic run in New York, having won two five-set matches and two four-setters and registering victories over eighth seed Casper Ruud and 11th seed Diego Schwartzman.
“It’s an amazing run [for Van de Zandschulp]. I played, I think, two times in the qualifiers at a Grand Slam and never made it to the main draw,” Medvedev added.
“If he continues to play like this then he will be top 20 or top 30 minimum. Let’s hope he continues to play in this way.”