Daniil “The Chessmaster” Medvedev is the last man standing from UTS at the 2024 Australian Open.
While many UTS players did well at Melbourne Park this year, day 10 of play saw two big names crash out at the quarter-final stage. First it was Taylor “The Hotshot” Fritz, runner-up at UTS Los Angeles, who exited courtesy of a grueling battle with Novak Djokovic.
Tough records extended for Rublo and The Hotshot
Both Rublev and Fritz were staring down the barrel of challenging records against them heading into their respective quarter-finals at the Australian Open.
Rublo had previously made nine Grand Slam quarter-finals, yet failed to win a single one. With his first Grand Slam semi-final still eluding him, the Russian was staring down the barrel of 10 consecutive losses at this stage of a Major. That’s exactly what happened, as Sinner was far too strong for Rublev, out-hitting the 25-year-old across three sets.
For Fritz, the American had also never made a Grand Slam semi-final. However, it was his record against Djokovic that was of more concern. The Hotshot had squared off against the 24-time Grand Slam champion on eight previous occasions, failing to win a single match. In fact, the 26-year-old had only ever won two sets, with their last five meetings being straight set losses.
While Fritz put up a much-improved effort, holding set points in the opener before claiming the second, his abysmal record would ultimately be extended against Djokovic.
The Chessmaster looks to overcome big-serving Hurkacz
With just one UTS player remaining in the 2024 Australian Open draw, Medvedev faces a tough challenge if he’s to stay alive in Melbourne.
Wednesday will see the world No 3 take on Hubert Hurkacz, a big-serving Pole who holds a 3-2 head-to-head over him. The Chessmaster is vastly more experienced at Grand Slams, having won the US Open in 2021 and made the final at Melbourne Park twice in the last three years.
Hurkacz, however, is serving like a man possessed and holds an edge over the Russian.
“I need to stay strong on my serve, don’t give him the break, either try to break him or go to the tiebreak and try to win the tiebreak,” Medvedev explained ahead of the match.
The winner will take on either Carlos Alcaraz or Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open semi-finals, with that quarter-final playing out later on Wednesday.