'No way': Tennis world erupts over 'ludicrous' Australian Open moment
It may not have been match point, but it was the point that won Daniil Medvedev the match.
The Russian fourth seed continued his dominance over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday night, seemingly having the ball on a string in a 6-4 6-2 7-5 victory in their Australian Open semi-final.
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Medvedev was in irresistible form against his fierce Greek rival, pulling off winner after winner in a scary warning to World No.1 Novak Djokovic.
However the Russian saved his best for last as he sent the tennis world into meltdown with an extraordinary passing shot in the penultimate game of the match.
Every angle of Medvedev's stunning passing shot.
STREAM: https://t.co/ooulZ9bvq5 #9WWOS #AusOpen #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/sFhIiw7xAg
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 19, 2021
Facing two break points at 5-5 and 15-40, Tsitsipas thought he'd saved the first when he forced Medvedev deep into the backhand side and advanced towards the net.
No-one watching inside Rod Laver Arena could have predicted what was to come next as Medvedev unleashed an incredible passing shot while on the run, leaving Tsitsipas gobsmacked and sealing the final nail in his coffin.
"No way, what a passing shot," Todd Woodbridge said in commentary for Channel Nine as Medvedev grabbed a crucial break and went up 6-5.
Medvedev's reaction said it all, celebrating in front of the pro-Tsitsipas crowd who had booed him all night.
“They were mostly for him,” Medvedev said after the match.
“That was the moment I won the match ... of course you have to serve after, but that was an important moment.
“I wanted them (the crowd) to recognise me, I would say, because the shot was unbelievable - I would say one of my best shots in my career.
“My legs were facing the other way in the court because I didn’t have time, so I have no idea how I made this, and I was really happy about it.”
Tennis fans and commentators went into meltdown watching the insane moment.
Aussie great Rennae Stubbs tweeted: “The shot @DaniilMedwed just hit to break serve was RIDICULOUS!!!!!!”
Journalist George Bellshaw wrote: “Oh my word that pass down the line from Daniil Medvedev. Up there for shot of the tournament, that. Absolutely ludicrous shot.”
While fellow journalist Joshua Jones added: “Shot of the tournament from Medvedev ... Utterly bonkers shot.”
Absolutely ludicrous shot https://t.co/PIoGYlUHGi
— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) February 19, 2021
The shot @DaniilMedwed just hit to break serve was RIDICULOUS !!!!!!
— Rennae Stubbs OLY (@rennaestubbs) February 19, 2021
How many times can I watch that Medvedev passing shot in the penultimate game before I'm addicted? #AusOpen
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) February 19, 2021
Ridiculous Medvedev,what a shot👌
— uBhayi (@luntun01) February 19, 2021
Ridiculous shot to break the serve. And love the celebration. #Medvedev #AusOpen
— Sourabh Suman (@Imsourabhsuman) February 19, 2021
Woaah.. what a shot from Medvedev to get the break. Insane. Insane. ! Running backhand down the line 😍
— Mihir * (@ImMihir05) February 19, 2021
That was a ridiculous backhand from Medvedev...oh my God....#AusOpen
— Hayaatou (@hayaatou) February 19, 2021
What was that pass My god... Out of the world from Medvedev 😲🥺😩
— Praveen C (@whatupbiyaatch) February 19, 2021
Djokovic holds no fear for Medvedev
Medvedev handed Tsitsipas another tennis lesson on Friday night, dispatching the Greek to line up a tasty Australian Open final showdown with Djokovic.
The win extended Medvedev's record against Tsitsipas to 6-1 and continued the 25-year-old Muscovite's phenomenal 20-match unbeaten run on tour.
While Djokovic will be a warm favourite to end that golden stretch as he seeks his ninth Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, the Serb is unlikely to hold any great fears for Medvedev, who has won three of their last four encounters.
Medvedev said all the pressure was on Djokovic in the final.
"I think he's the favourite because he didn't lose. In eight occasions that he was here in the semis, he won the tournament," Medvedev said.
"Me ... I don't know how you call it in English, not an outsider, but I'm the challenger, the guy that challenges the guy who was eight times in the final and won eight times. And I'm happy about it.
"I think if we talk in general - I have nothing to lose."
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