Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev served a dose of revenge Thursday in Vienna, rallying past Canadian Vasek Pospisil 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 behind 17 aces to reach the Erste Bank Open quarter-finals.
“It was really tough and Vasek was playing some unbelievable tennis,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “I’m really happy that he didn’t finish the match [as strongly] and played a little bit worse. I took my chances. I’m really happy about it [and] looking forward [to] tomorrow.”
In February, Pospisil played lights-out power tennis to overwhelm the Russian in Rotterdam. Although the World No. 81 played inspired tennis again early in Austria, Medvedev made appropriate adjustments to wear down the Canadian after one hour and 58 minutes, taking a 2-1 lead in their ATP Head2Head series.
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The turning point came with Pospisil serving at 3-4 in the second set. The 30-year-old was cruising to a service hold at 40/15, and he had not yet been broken in the match. But Pospisil made four consecutive errors — including three unforced forehand errors from the baseline — to let slip his grip on the match.
Medvedev took full advantage of that opening, stepping closer to the baseline to take time away from the former World No. 25. Pospisil became increasingly frustrated in the third set after he missed an inside-out forehand wide at 1-1 to give the Russian the break in the final set. In the first half of the match, the veteran was playing aggressively without missing much. But as time wore on he began misfiring from the baseline.
Medvedev, who is pursuing his first ATP Tour title of the season, kept his foot on the gas and broke again in his next return game when Pospisil missed a volley-lob long. The fourth seed did not face a break point in the third set, completing his victory with his 17th ace of the match.
The 24-year-old has been building momentum since the ATP Tour restarted in August. At the US Open, Medvedev did not lose a set en route to his second Grand Slam semi-final. He has already qualified for his second consecutive appearance in the Nitto ATP Finals.