Alex de Minaur recently bested Daniil Medvedev on a tennis court, and it was a pretty shocking result. He nearly did it again in this very bizarre match at the 2023 China Open. It was bizarre because the Australian was quite close to turning it around in his favour, but also not really.
Medvedev really played around in the opening set. He started well, played his game, and sent so many balls back. The Australian had no responses and quickly fell behind 2-5. Then he turned it around, somehow.
He took a 6-5 lead and had a deuce on Medvedev's serve but never actually saw a set point. The first set went to a tiebreak where the Russian outplayed de Minaur by the slightest of margins to win it 7-3. It was the conclusion of a set that should have ended 20 minutes before, as the Russian served twice for it.
The second set was a bit simpler, though fans were a bit worried once Medvedev went up a break, wondering if he'd throw it away again. He didn't this time around and held firm to close out the match in two sets. The final score was 7-6(3) 6-3 as Medvedev overcame a rather lacklustre serving performance (4 aces, 8 double faults) to neutralize de Minaur's winner's total.
The Australian had 23 compared to 21 for Medvedev. It's a big win for the Russian, who moves on to the quarter-final and keeps his hopes of becoming world number one again alive. It's going to take a lot of effort, but the Russian has it as a goal, and that's enough to take him seriously.