Daniil Medvedev ended American qualifier Christopher Eubanks’ impressive run at the Miami Open with a 6-3, 7-5 win in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Medvedev meets compatriot Karen Khachanov for a spot in the final after the 14th seedling defeated Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo 6-3, 6-2.
Eubanks, 26, was playing in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal after upsetting Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino and Gregoire Barrere and 17th Croatian Borna Coric.
The 6-foot-7, high-serving Eubanks showed no signs of nervousness and held his first two serves, but was unable to capitalize on five break points in an exciting fourth game.
However, a half-hour rain break seemed to derail Eubank’s momentum and he broke on his first service game after play resumed, going long and allowing Medvedev to take a 4-3 lead.
The Russian, who noticeably moved further into the second serve after the break, broke again to take the opener, but Eubanks didn’t want to roll over against the world number five.
In the sixth game of the second set, Medvedev won a great rally at the net to take a 4-2 lead, but Eubanks again showed his character to hit back and keep his hopes alive.
Eubanks saved two match points as Medvedev tried to break it and avoid a crucial set, but then he botched a direct volley on the third match point, sitting it out and ending his resistance.
The American, who will move up from 119th to 85th in the ATP rankings, said Medvedev has shown the ruthlessness that exists at the top level of the game.
“The mistakes are amplified at this level. Little things, missed opportunities that maybe in some tournaments I’ve played in the past or (against) some opponents doesn’t seem like such a big deal,” he said.
“There are no easy games (at this level). I think that’s the best way to describe leveling up. Holds aren’t easy and breaks are definitely not easy.”
Medvedev has now won 22 of his last 23 games, winning titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai and reaching the final in Indian Wells where he lost to world number one Carlos Alcaraz.
“I’ve never had such a good start to the season. Won a lot of games, won tournaments. I’m really happy,” said Medvedev.
“I was disappointed in Indian Wells when my streak ended but the only thing you can do is start a new streak and I’m glad I was able to bring my form to Miami.”
It took Khachanov just 75 minutes to get the job done against Cerundolo despite a determined start from the Argentine.
Cerundolo broke the Russian to take a 3-2 lead but then lost his next two holds and never recovered.
Spaniard Alcaraz later featured in his last eight encounters with another American, Taylor Fritz, with the winner set to meet Italy’s Jannik Sinner in the semifinals.
Source : sports.yahoo.com