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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday August 12, 2021

After a dramatic, wildly entertaining 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(5) victory over Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, Daniil Medvedev signed the camera “Not Tight.”

Tennis Express

He certainly didn’t look tight as he plowed through two critical tiebreakers against a player who, by Medvedev’s own admission, was playing better than him, and yet after the match Medvedev admitted that being loose is an imperfect science.

“Of course, like everybody, I feel tight on important points,” Medvedev said, adding: “I try to hold my nerves. Sometimes to go for it is an easier solution, but, well, you need to be sure that you're not doing it to escape the stress. In a way, yes, but to also try to, yeah, to not just escape the stress but to actually do something good with it.”

Being tight and playing tight are two different things and on this night, against a formidable opponent (the World No.13 and the winner of the last Masters 1000 tournament that was played on hard court), Medvedev once again proved why he is such a dangerous big match player. The Russian took his chances, going for daring shots in the biggest moments, and stole away with a decisive win that could have easily gone Hurkacz's way.

Medvedev won a lower percentage of first and second serves, faced more break points than his openent (2 to 9), never managed to break Hurkacz and trailed by a set, but none of these obstacles could keep the World No.2 from stealing away with an important win at an important juncture of the season. It was an uncanny performance from a player that continues to prove his mettle on tour.

Medvedev improves to 35-9 on the season and will face John Isner for a spot in the final on Saturday.

The 25-year-old three-time Masters title winner also avenges his loss to Hurkacz at Wimbledon this summer in the round of 16. Unlike tonight's contest, Medvedev believes that the pair's first meeting match he could have easily won.

“I feel like in Wimbledon I was much closer to win the match, especially the first day,” he said of the match which was played over two days because of rain. “I feel like I should have closed it in three sets. I remember a few points still."

Tonight's contest was different in many ways. Played on hard courts instead of grass, it featured a lighter atmoshpere and a showstopping rally that featured not one, but two, tweeners.

The lighter air didn't discourage Medvedev from bringing the heavy intensity when it mattered most. After getting blown out in the opening set, Medvedev tightened things up in the second set. He didn't face a break point and converted his second set point to take the breaker.

In the third set Medvedev saved a break point at 30-40 in the first game and another at 30-40, 5-5. He took a 6-3 lead in the third set breaker and converted his third match point.

“But that's what tennis is about," Medvedev said after the match. "Today he was definitely at least first two sets and even third one a little bit much closer to win it, to finally break me and probably he would hold his serve the way he was playing today.

"But I managed to keep it up. Yeah, it was a matter of few points. When you see the score and you didn't see the match straightaway, you say, ‘Wow, what a score.’

"Feels good to win such matches. You know, I think in ten years I'm gonna have maybe 50 matches like this lost, 50 matches like this won. You're going to need to try to win as many as possible. When you win them, it feels good.”


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