Upcoming stars Matteo Berrettini and Caspur Ruud were forced out of the Australian Open due to abdominal strains.
In his tough three-set Round 3 match against Russian Karen Khachanov, the hard-hitting Italian had taken a medical timeout because of an abdominal issue. Though he won that match in three-tiebreakers, he pulled out of his fourth round tie against World No 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas because of the injury.
“I have had a problem with my abs and I spoke to the doctors and they told me it could just get worse,” Berrettini, the World No 10, said during a press conference.
Good luck with your recovery @MattBerrettini 💙
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 15, 2021
Meanwhile 22-year-old Ruud, ranked 28th in the world, took to court against World No 8 Andrey Rublev. But after losing the first two sets 6-2, 7-6(3), decided he could not continue playing through the pain and retired from the match.
“Unfortunately, due to a lower left abdominal strain I had to retire from my match today at the Australian Open,” Ruud tweeted.
“It was a tough decision to make on court but I believe it was the right decision in the long run. I hate the feeling of having to ‘give up’ but I couldn’t continue playing with pain in every serve I hit.”
Unfortunately due to a lower left abdominal strain I had to retire from my match today at the @australianopen . It was a tough decision to make on court but I believe it was the right decision in the long run. I hate the feeling of having to “give up” but I couldn’t continue.. pic.twitter.com/Y3P7MUOgCn
— Casper Ruud (@CasperRuud98) February 15, 2021
Medvedev and Rublev in titanic quarterfinal tie
Top 10 players Daniil Medvedev and Rublev eased into the last eight of the Australian Open to setup an irresistible clash against each other in the men’s quarterfinal draw.
World No 4 Medvedev, took his unbeaten run to 18 matches after beating American Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in just under 90 minutes.
Meanwhile his compatriot and close friend Rublev was outhitting an ailing Ruud in his fourth round tie before the Norwegian was forced to retire from the match due to injury.
Post the win, Rublev shared his thoughts on the upcoming tie against Medvedev.
“It’s going to be a tough match. The last time he beat me was in the quarters of the US Open, now we’re in the quarters of the Australian Open. So we’re going to see what’s going to happen. I hope we can show a great match, great levels. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Meanwhile along qualifier Aslan Karatsev, the trio made it the first time three Russian players have reached the last eight of a Grand Slam.
Ahead of the Australian Open, Medvedev, Rublev, Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy helped Russia with the ATP Cup.
Nadal brushes off Fognini test
World No 2 and second seed Rafael Nadal continued in impressive run at the Major after easing past mercurial Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
The Spaniard, who had pulled out of the ATP Cup because of a back problem, has not lost a set so far in his Australian Open campaign.
He takes on Tsitsipas in his quarterfinal tie.
Barty through to quarterfinals
World No 1 Ashleigh Barty comfortably beat American Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4 to ensure she reached at least the quarterfinal of the Australian Open for the third consecutive time.
The top seed and home favourite is yet to lose a set so far at the event.
She takes on Czech player Karolina Muchova, the 25th seed who continued her run of beating higher ranked players when she overcame 18th seed Elise Mertens 7-6(5), 7-5 in her fourth round match.
Muchova had also beaten former US Open runner-up and sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-5 in the third round.