Defiant Daniil Medvedev comeback denies Cilic in Wimbledon thriller

Jonathan Davies in Wimbledon 05 Jul 2021
Medvedev overcame a two-set deficit to prevail in a thriller on No.1 Court (USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Daniil Medvedev produced a stunning turnaround from two sets down to edge out Marin Cilic 6-7, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and book his place in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

The second seed has never progressed beyond round three at SW19 and it looked increasingly likely that run would continue for another year at least.

Medvedev found himself two sets adrift against the former US Open champion – a recent grass-court winner in Stuttgart and runner-up to Roger Federer here four years ago.

But the Russian responded brilliantly to halve the deficit, and broke early in the fourth set on the way to levelling and forcing a decider.

Thereon it was one-way traffic for Medvedev, who despite being pegged back to 5-2 from 5-0 up, comfortably sealed the deal after a marathon contest that lasted three hours and 36 minutes.

Next up for him is Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon this year.

The 14th seed has quietly gone about his business on the outside courts, while a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Alexander Bublik means he is through to the fourth round of a Slam for the first time.

Meanwhile, Federer booked his 18th appearance in the second week of Wimbledon following a four-set victory over Cameron Norrie.

It had been 20 years since the eight-time champion was beaten by a British player at SW19; Tim Henman prevailing in their 2001 quarter-final. And despite losing the third set, the Swiss never looked like seeing that record end here as he advanced 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Awaiting him in round four is 23rd seed Lorenzo Sonego, who has matched his best-ever performance at a Slam after beating James Duckworth in straight sets.

Seventh seed Matteo Berrettini has now won nine sets in succession and took his tournament tally to 59 aces in a commanding 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Aljaz Bedene.

The Italian will play Ilya Ivashka, who continued his best-ever run at a Slam after overcoming Jordan Thompson by the same scoreline.

Despite dropping his first set at Wimbledon this year, fourth seed Alexander Zverev recovered to see off Taylor Fritz 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.

The German sets up a showdown with Felix Auger-Aliassime, who advanced following the retirement of opponent Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal injury.

The 16th seed’s progression – coupled with Denis Shapovalov’s win over Andy Murray on Friday – means it is the first time in the Open era that multiple Canadians will appear in round four at Wimbledon.

Earlier in the day, British teenager Emma Raducanu delighted the home crowd with a straight-sets victory over Sorana Cirstea.

Making her Grand Slam debut, the 18-year-old was completely unfazed – reeling off five successive games along the way – as she set up a fourth-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic, who came from behind to beat former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Like Raducanu, Coco Gauff is yet to drop a set at the All England Club in 2021; the 17-year-old seeing off Kaja Juvan 6-3, 6-3.

She will play 2018 champion Angelique Kerber, who recovered from losing the opening set against Aliaksandra Sasnovich; winning 12 of the following 13 games to advance to round four for a sixth time.

Top seed Ashleigh Barty overcame Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 7-5 to set up a mouth-watering showdown with French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who has now won each of her last 15 matches after beating Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets.

Australian Open semi-finalist Karolina Muchova also prevailed in straight sets against Roland Garros runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and will play Paula Badosa after the Spaniard overcame Magda Linette.

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