Medvedev and Rublev KO’d by fellow Russians in Madrid

Lui Zacher
May 2, 2023 / 10:04 pm

Medvedev and Rublev KOd by fellow Russians in Madrid

It is unlikely to make Alex de Minaur feel any better at missing out on valuable claycourt time ahead of the French Open, but the man who beat him in the Madrid Open has followed up by knocking out world No.3 Daniil Medvedev.

Aslan Karatsev required three sets and 136 minutes to beat de Minaur. He put away Medvedev in straight sets, 7-6 (7-1) 6-4, with the match over in 96 minutes.

In another all-Russian affair fifth-seed Andrey Rublev lost to his 10th-seeded doubles partner Karen Khachanov 7-6 (10-8) 6-4.

There was a further upset when China’s 99-ranked Zhizhen Zhang beat America’s No.8 seed Taylor Fritz 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8) to book a tie with Karatsev.

But defending champion Carlos Alcaraz had no problems, cruising to victory over Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-2 in a one-sided rematch of last year’s final.

Zverev is still trying to rediscover his best form after suffering a serious ankle injury at the French Open last summer and he had no chance against the world No.2 who is seeking back-to-back titles after winning in Barcelona last week.

Alcaraz, who turns 20 on Friday, said in an on-court interview: “For me it’s amazing to play the level that I played today.

“This result isn’t normal. I played great, I feel really good right now and this match gives me a lot of confidence.”

Karatsev is a former No. 14 in the world and has won three tour titles, the last in Sydney last year. But he is currently ranked 121 and this was his first victory against a top-10 opponent since 2021.

Khachanov reversed his loss to Rublev in Monte Carlo three weeks ago, when Rublev went on to capture his maiden Masters 1000 title.

Khachanov now meets Alcaraz but first the Russian friends have to focus on the doubles in which they face Jamie Murray and Michael Venus in the last eight.

“This (singles) match is over,” Khachanov said. “We need to have some time maybe to absorb it. That’s how it was in Monte Carlo. The day before, we played doubles, we lost a very tight match, and then the next day he beat me. After one day, life goes on. He’s doing well this year, I’m doing well, I’m just happy.”

Also through to the quarterfinals was Daniel Altmaier, who defeated Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-0.

Munar was upset with a call that put him down 3-0 in the final set. He challenged it and was irate when the ruling against him stood, saying: “I will destroy this machine. How is it possible? The mark is clear.”

He walked to what appeared to be some tour officials near the court and argued with them about the challenge system.

Altmaier now meets Borna Coric who beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

AAP (C) 2023 – with agencies

Aslan Karatsev has shocked fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 at the Madrid Open. (EPA PHOTO)