On Wednesday, Daniil Medvedev defeated fellow Russian Andrey Rublev to secure a spot in the US Open semifinals. However, he cautioned that the intense conditions at the tournament could potentially lead to a player’s demise.
Medvedev emerged victorious over Rublev in three consecutive sets, with scores of 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. However, both athletes appeared to struggle with the intense heat within the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The winner of the 2021 US Open, Medvedev, took two breaks for medical reasons during the match. On both occasions, he used an inhaler in an effort to combat the challenging conditions.
Both competitors consistently utilized towels during the game to manage the excessive amounts of perspiration in the exhausting match.
In the middle of the third set, Medvedev, 27, can be heard on camera saying, “One player will die and you will witness it.”
CNN’s Weather team reports that the temperature at Flushing Meadows during the match was 93 degrees Fahrenheit, with a heat index of 96 degrees Fahrenheit. The area is currently under a heat advisory until 8pm ET on Wednesday.
CNN has contacted the US Open for a statement regarding the court conditions.
Following the win, Medvedev described the conditions as “harsh” and stated that he was unable to see the ball towards the end of the first set.
During his on-court interview, Medvedev expressed that the only positive aspect of the situation was that both players were struggling. Despite facing challenges and fluctuations, this is a typical experience. Medvedev also mentioned that towards the end of the first set, he had difficulty seeing the ball and had to rely on his instincts.
“I attempted to make a move and run, and my opponent did the same. Prior to scoring points, I thought to myself: ‘Wow, he’s exhausted and can’t run anymore’. So, I continued to push and make him run, but he managed to stay with me throughout. However, we were both exhausted due to the intense conditions and it was extremely challenging to come out as the winner.”
In the tiring and wet weather, Medvedev was the one who found the strength to secure the win and advance to the US Open semifinals.
The two Russian players, who have previously referred to themselves as “very close friends,” were closely matched. Rublev is even the godfather to Medvedev’s daughter. The long rallies and games made it difficult for both players on the court.
Rublev started to tire and make mistakes, allowing Medvedev to win in straight sets. The last game, which lasted over 15 minutes, was a perfect example of Medvedev’s victory. It took him two hours and 48 minutes to defeat his fellow Russian, finally forcing an error on his fifth match point.
Despite facing challenging circumstances and a formidable opponent, Medvedev demonstrated why he is a strong contender for this year’s championship. He overcame being down a break in each set to secure an impressive victory.
He is set to play against either Carlos Alcaraz or Alexander Zverev, who will compete later on Wednesday, in order to secure a spot in the final.