Daniil Medvedev will wait to win a first title this season and will wait before becoming world No.1 again. Visibly weakened physically, the Russian could not avoid Thursday’s defeat in the quarter-finals in Miami, against Hubert Hurkacz, tough defending champion. Favorite of the event, the 2nd in the world, finalist of the last Australian Open, lost 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 against the Pole, 10th player in the world.
As a direct consequence for the Russian, he will not return to the throne of the ATP circuit on Monday. Only an accession to the last four would have allowed him to dislodge Novak Djokovic again, from whom he had stolen first place for two weeks before returning it to the Serb on March 21.
After a lost semi-final in Acapulco, against Rafael Nadal, already his executioner in Melbourne, and a surprise elimination in the 3rd round of Indian Wells against Gaël Monfils, this new defeat comes to sound the end of an unsatisfactory first quarter and probably frustrating for Medvedev.
Medvedev complains of dizziness
The one who assured in recent weeks not to put too much pressure on his back concerning the place of N.1 in the world, while openly coveting it, did not find the stratospheric level which was his at the US Open there. six months ago, when, implacable in the final, he had shattered the dream of a Grand Slam on a season of Djokovic, preventing him from becoming the most successful in history.
But he fell on Thursday on the last master of the place, determined to keep his title won last year to everyone’s surprise against the Italian Jannik Sinner. Relying on an excellent first ball (76%), the Pole knew not to be disunited when Medvedev, after saving two first set balls at 5-2, broke to push to the decisive game. Tight, the tie-break ended up smiling at Hurkacz. The Russian then went to the locker room and the wait lasted eight minutes. A harbinger of a weakening that appeared more and more evident in the second set, in very humid conditions.
Several times forced to lean, back down, on his racket to recover after the exchanges, Medvedev called the physio, complaining of dizziness. Despite his courage, to try to reduce the gap to 5-4, it was enough for Hurkacz to shorten his ordeal after 2:03.