And we’re all tied at 4-4! Medvedev loses the break advantage after he nets the final shot. He was too indecisive on some of those points, choosing to not go for a final shot when he could of. He’s now yelling in anger at himself and/or his coaching staff. Tense stuff.
Medvedev look so determined right now. Not sure where this demeanour was two hours ago. But I digress. He goes up 4-3 in the set. It is that drop shot again that is really bailing him out combined with some strong serving. He’s up to 14 aces compared to Ruusuvuori’s zero.
Ruusuvuori is still in this set! It’s 3-2 to Medvedev now with the Finnish’s volleys carrying him through that game.
A double fault from Medvedev early on to make it 15-15! Yikes!
We get to deuce after a really auspicious moment. An awful drop shot from Medvedev is sent back by Ruusuvuori but the Russian’s volley is just enough to earn him the point. Ruusuvuori shows right after that he can play the same game with a speedy volley to take advantage.
We go back and forth for a bit until Medvedev takes the game with some really strong serving.
We get to deuce after a fantastic flick from Medvedev (very Nadal-esque!) in the third game. Once Ruusuvuori takes advantage, Medvedev forces a second deuce with, you guessed it, another drop shot. Ruusuvuori is staying so far back and he is stumbling to get on the end of those. But he takes the game to make it 2-1 after some good offensive play.
Medvedev takes the next game to make it 2-0 in the fourth set. He is relying on the drop shot here, which I think he is using because he feels as if he can’t get through Ruusuvuori any other way. The Finnish looks tired now though, and will obviously regret not wrapping this up sooner.
Medvedev breaks as he takes the first game of the fourth set! The world No 3 had a couple of great drop shots to really get Ruusuvuori moving around the court. The camera pans to the clock, and we’re officially at the three-hour mark.
It is 2.14am in the morning in Melbourne. Will be a long night if Medvedev makes a full comeback. Not that it already isn’t. If you have any thoughts on this match or any other of the shocking results that happened today, send me an email! Details are at the top of the blog.
Medvedev takes the third set! A nice rally at the end there that ends with Ruusuvuori hitting the net to give his opponent the set.
Ruusuvuori wins another game to make it 5-3 in the third set! A fantastic forehand was the highlight of that game. Medvedev almost broke himself with a double fault.
Thanks Daniel! Right, Medvedev looks in trouble here as Ruusuvuori takes the next game with relative ease, killing any momentum the world No 3 had. Pressure is really on now.
Right, my watch is over, so here’s Yara El-Shaboury to chill with you until the end – whenever that might be.
When I say Medvedev is better conditioned, I don’t mean that he trains harder or anything, just that he’s used to competing at this level, in these tournaments, for this length of time – and Ruusuvuori is not. I wonder if he might tank the rest of this set to be fresher for the fourth, but as I type, we find ourselves at deuce, Ruusuvuori does really well to make his opponent play one more ball and Medvedev, who was up 40-15, nets! And have a look! Medvedev, who won for straight and still lost the last set, nets again, cedes one of his two breaks, and as such this one is still alive! Ruusuvuori leads 6-3 7-6 2-4.
Updated at 15.59 CET
Ruusuvuori’s dropped a little here, missing shots he has’t until now and finding himself down 30-40. So he monsters a forehand, follows it with an ace … then nets, so we’re back to deuce. Medvedev, meanwhile, is doing a better job of controlling the rallies, a drop forcing his younger but perhaps less conditioned opponent to charge in only to net, and when he nets again, Medvedev has the double break at 4-1 – though still trails 2-0.
It felt like momentum had switched when Medvedev won four games on the spin last set, and he ended up losing it, so I’m reluctant to suppose similar now. But he holds easily, and has slipped into a more proactive style, which is working much better, and it’s now 3-0 in the third.
Better from Medvedev, up 0-15 then inciting Ruusuvuori to go long. A drop backed by a volley, followed by a netted forehand, make 30-all, but a canny lob demands a backhand overhead, and it drops into the net; break point Medvedev, who’s 2/9 so far … and a double, Ruusuvuori’s first of the match, hands it over! The world number three is improving.
Up 30-15, Medvedev doubles and winds up at deuce, sent hurtling from corner to corner in the process of losing his advantage. But he eventually closes out with an ace and forehand winner, so now trails Rusuvuori 3-6 (1)6-7 1-1.
Yup, more of the same: Ruusuvuori holds for 1-0 and doesn’t look likely to disappear. Can Medvedev play well enough to win three sets straight? On the face of things, no, because his opponent looks so calm, but once the finish line appears in view, if it does, who knows what’ll be?
Respect to Ruusuvuori, who had to hang about doing nothing while Medvedev got treatment, then just carried on doing what he’s been doing: outplaying the third-best player in the world like it’s regular gear.
Ruusuvuori only needs one! He sends a forehand deep, Medvedev nets, and he can’t find an answer to the power-hitting being sent his way off both wings.
Medvedev wins a point, but Ruusuvuori just monsters him again, sending him nashing towards the forehand side in order to smite a backhand winner for 6-1. He has five points for a 2-0 lead against the number three seed!
Ooooh yeah! Medvedev grunts away, but a backhand near to the side, then a brutal forehand and deft volley make 4-0 and double mini-break … make that a triple! He leads 5-0 and Medvedev has barely featured int his breaker, not because he’s playing poorly but because his opponent is carpeing the diem.
Medvedev is back on his feet so and here comes that second-set breaker, seven minutes after we reached six-all; who’ll get themselves going again first? Er, it’s Ruusuvuori! Huge forehand return, huge forehand, drive-backhand winner. Nice! That’s the mini-break, and he quickly consolidates for 3-0, showing little emotion. He wants this, and thinks he should have it.
Victoria Azarenka (18) beats Clara Tauson 6-4 3-6 6-2
She stayed calmer and more focused, so moves on to meet Ostapennko next. That should be good.
Victoria Azarenka on her way to victory over Clara Tauson. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA
Updated at 15.23 CET
Eeesh, two errors from Ruusuvuori turn 40-15 into deuce, and he’ll be desperate not to lose a set like this. So he unleashes forehands, makes advantage, and closes out – well done him – so here comes the breaker. Or not! Medvedev has a blister on his foot and calls the trainer, explaining that he didn’t want to do it before his opponent served for the set; what a nice man. The latest finish in Australia, we learn while we wait, is 4,34am, when Hewitt beat Baghdatis 4-6 7-5 7-5 6-7(4) 6-3 in 2008.
Medvedev holds for 6-5, and who even knows when this match’ll finish? It’s just after 1am now, and three more hour-long sets – we’ve been going 108 minutes so far – takes us to a very silly time.
There’s now only one other match in progress and – I say this advisedly – it looks like it’s nearly over, Azarenka 4-1 up on Tauson in the third, who belts a forehand wide to cede the double break. I’m afraid Tauson seems to have mislaid her belief.
Medvedev raises two set points at 15-40, but three weapons-grade backhands from Ruusuvuori persuade him to net, then he sends one of his own long, bringing us to deuce. And the number-three seed, a bit closer in now, ends a 22-stroke rally with a fine backhand cross, but a decent point from the Finn secures deuce once more and from there he closes out.
Ruusuvuori earns another break-back point, and this time, he clouts a forehand winner to the corner! Just when we thought this match was moving irrevocably in one direction, Medvedev having taken four straight games, we discover that in fact it isn’t. Lovely stuff!
Medvedev plays a drop when he doesn’t need to and when Ruusuvuori comes in, he can’t redeem the situation, hitting wide; that’s 30-all, another error sends a forehand wide, and here comes break-back point! I didn’t expect that, I must say, and when Medvedev serves into the net, he’s a proper chance … but nets, bringing us to deuce.
Yeah, time’s up. While Hurkacz was finishing off, Medvedev breaks Ruusuvuori, and will now serve for set two at 3-6 5-3.
Hubert Hurkacz (9) beats Jakub Mensik (9)6-7 6-1 7-5 6-1 6-3
And down comes another ace. Hurkacz meets Humbert, seeded 21, next, while Mensik, just 18, looks a proper talent and someone from whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty more.
Azarenka breaks Tauson for 2-0 in the third, while Mensik makes Hurkacz serve for it, making 30-all … so down comes an ace; match point.
Hurkacz breaks Mensik for 5-2 in the fifth and the Polish contingent on Kia are loving it; Medvedev holds easily, and I wonder if Ruusuvuori has missed his chance. Had he managed to hold on for a two-set lead, who knows, but the world number three is playing much better now, and he’s not far enough ahead to ride it out, I don’t think.
At 3-6 2-3, Medvedev makes 30-all on the Ruusuvuori serve then hurtles in to flip over a volley, sliding but avoiding contact with the net. Huge point coming up … and he nets. But he might just be getting closer and still has a deuce to try and retrieve the break … making advantage by stopping in the rally and waiting for the error. Then, sent chasing to the backhand corner, he finds a terrific flick, directing ball towards tootsies as his opponent comes in, and that’s the set back level! Ruusuvuori leads 6-3 3-3, but has momentum switched?
Back on Court, Tauson has just won the second set 6-3, so she and Azarenka will now play a decider.
Ostapenko says she’s glad to see Tomljanovic back and that if you win the first set so easily, the second can be tough because you know you won’t play as well. She thanks the crowd for staying out so late, and that she’s decided to be even more aggressive this eyar as in key moment she needs to put even more pressure on her opponents. I guess there’s a difference between being aggressive and being wild – one she’s not quite balanced yet – but if she does, she can be a permanent factor, not just when everything goes perfectly.
Jelena Ostapenko (11) beats Ajla Tomljanovic 6-0 3-6 6-4
Ostapenko closed that out well. We know her best is something special, but she won’t get away with dropping as she did tonight, playing better players. She did, though, win in Adelaide so knows she’s hitting it alright, and she meets Tauson or Azarenka next.
At 15-all, Tomljanovic nets a forehand and hangs her head as a courtside report tells us the crowd are getting after Ostapenko, who’s doing a good job of letting it slide. She then clouts a forehand wide, cleaning up with a volley at the net, and at 40-15 she’s two match points….
Updated at 14.53 CET
Tomljanovic has so much moxie and she holds to love, forcing Ostapenko to serve for the match at 5-4 in the third. Tough choice for the Aussie: does she get the ball into play and wait for likely errors, or try and force them herself? Against almost anyone else, I’d say do the latter; against Ostapenkz, I’d be tempted to go former.
Well! Up 15-30, Tomljanovic clobbers a forehand return cross-court; Ostapenko responds with an ace then makes deuce. Another big serve follows, then she rushes through deuce, celebrating wildly, and at 3-5 the home favourite is running out of chances.
Ruusuvuori survives a break point and consolidates for 6-3 2-0, but I guess Medvedev will take heart that he made an impression when returning. He got away with a slow start in round one against Atmane, but this is a different thing because he’s playing a better player who might just be coming of age in front of his eyes.
Two first serves from Ostapenko take her from 30-all to 4-2 in front, and she’s looking strong again though – as we, she and Tomljanovic know, she’s capable of doing anything at any point, so.
Medvedev is in massive trouble, finding himself down 15-40. He saves the first break point with a forehand into the corner, but then sticks another wide, and he now trails Ruusuvuori by a set and a break. Meantime, Ostapenko breaks Tomljanovic again for 3-2 in the third, but now trails 15-30…
Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori is giving third seed Daniil Medvedev the runaround. Photograph: James Ross/AAP
Updated at 14.25 CET
Hurkacz has taken the fourth set against Mensik 6-1 – he won the second by that score too – and we’ll now have yet another decider. What a day this has been.
Tremendous forehand winner down the line from Tomljanovic as the clock strikes midnight, raising break-back point, and Ostapenko goes long! We’re back on serve at 2-2!
Down 30-40, Medvedev controls the set-point rally … only to net a backhand when well inside court! Ruusuvuori was barely tested on serve in that set, taking it 6-3, and the question Medvedev has to answer is whether he just needs to play better, or whether he needs to try something different.
Medvedev holds in short order to make Ruusuvuori serve for the set at 5-2, but he’s not making much happen when receiving – which it’s easy to say is because of how far back he’s standing, and it does look that way. Except he always plays like that and he seems to be doing just about OK. Meantime, Ostapenko finds a massive forehand when she needs it, breakig for 2-1 in the third.
Ruusuvuori holds, so Medvedev, who’s not playing well and felt he needed a break in preparation, must now also hold to stick in set one at 2-5.
Azarenka has taken the first set against Tauson 6-4, and I’m going to put Hurkacz v Mensik on that screen; Mensik leads 2-1 but Hurkacz is up a break in the fourth.
Tomljanovic devours a short second serve, smiting a winner down the line for another break to force a decider after losing the first 6-0! She knows how to compete, and looks the more likely to hold it down in the third. Medvedev, meanwhile, holds for 2-4.
Ajla Tomljanovic reaches out for a forehand. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP
Updated at 13.48 CET
Ostapenkz, a favourite of this blog for obvious reasons, is struggling in set two, down 3-5 and 0-30. I wonder, actually, if she might want to reign herself in a little here, because Tomljanovic isn’t as quick as her or as devastating as her, so if she sticks in rallies, chances to hit winners will present themselves. Yeah, as if. That’s why we love her, and she makes deuce while, on Laver, Ruusuvuori has a point for 5-1 against Medvedev … but overhits his pick-up down the line, just.
On Laver, Ruusuvuori is giving Medvedev plenty. He’s a talented player and excellent athlete, trying to get on to the baseline line and hit big shots. He has to save two break-back points too, but he hanfs on to lead 4-1.
Updated at 14.06 CET
I didn’t see the first set of Ostapenko v Tomljanovic but I’m pretty sure I know what happened because Ostapenkz is Ostapenkz: she blazed an unstoppable succession of winners because she always tries to, and when it works it works. But she’s cooled now, and Tomljanovic, who’s got some serious mental strength, has broken in set two for a 4-2 lead!
Jakub Mensik leads Hubert Hurkacz (9) 7-6(9) 1-6 7-5
Felix Auger-Aliassime (27) beat Hugo Grenier 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-2
Victoria Azarenka (18) leads Clara Tauson 3-1
Jelena Ostapenko (11) leads Ajla Tomljanovic 6-0 2-2
Emil Ruusuvuori leads Daniil Medvedev 2-0