ao97medvedev_stich

ao97medvedev_stich

Points won by each set: | 37-45, 27-13, 35-26, 28-34, 55-51 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
18 % Medvedev – 33 of 178
23 % Stich – 41 of 173

Tennis fans didn’t expect Stich to play in the Roland Garros final, but as he did it in 1996, suddenly he was only one major away from playing finals in all the most important tennis events. Therefore Australian Open ’97 was a big task for him. Reaching the final seemed possible after eliminating Michael Chang in a hypothetical third round match-up. [20] Stich led 3-0 in H2H against Medvedev [36], who had been struggling with injuries for 1.5 years, and suffered a humiliating 1-6, 1-6 loss to Jonathan Stark just before the Aussie Open. So Stich was a big favorite and he confirmed it in the opener playing superb tennis. But from the beginning of the 2nd set the German seemed deflated, on the other hand Medvedev displayed very good ground-strokes. Stich managed to regroup, and after taking the 4th set, he had many chances to prevail in five: led 2:1* (40/15), 3:2 (40/30), 4:3 (40/15) & 6:5 (30/15)… at 7-all lost his serve at ‘love’ and his dreams of reaching the final evaporated as he netted his backhand on the second match point… Medvedev won two five-setters in his career that went beyond 6-all in the decider: both on the same court (Rod Laver Arena), both lasted the same amount of time, and after both wins he was beaten by Chang.

# Comparison of Medvedev’s two thrillers at Australian Open:
1995 (4th round): Medvedev d. Wheaton 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 10-8… 3 hours 29 minutes… Medvedev 4 points away from defeat
1997 (2nd round): Medvedev d. Stich 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 4-6, 9-7… 3 hours 29 minutes… Medvedev 2 points away from defeat

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