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Day 10 men's preview: Experience looks to deny youth

  • Gillian Tan

Hungry for a pair of popcorn-worthy quarterfinals? We have got you covered!

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are the two highest-ranked remaining contenders for the Australian Open 2022 men's singles crown. But blocking their path to a projected semifinal showdown based on seedings, are two of the tour's hottest prospects.

Jannik Sinner [11] vs Stefanos Tsitsipas [4]

The Greek fourth seed has never faced the 20-year-old Sinner on a hard court, but on clay, boasts a 2-1 win-loss record against the Italian.

MORE: Day 10 schedule of play

"[He] looks like he's very relaxed when he's playing, doesn't show much tension when he's out there," Tsitsipas said of his opponent.

The 23 year-old right-hander, brimming with confidence after his five-set win over Taylor Fritz in the fourth round, believes he can deliver a deep run at Melbourne Park, where he's twice reached the final four and often has the vocal crowd on his side.

MORE: Men's singles results AO 2022

"I would predict that I'm headed towards the right direction and things look good for me so far," Tsitsipas said. "With the right mindset and with the right attitude, and with the right development throughout the tournament, my chances are pretty good."

Still, if fitness becomes a factor, Tsitsipas' legs aren't quite as fresh as Sinner's. The Italian has spent nine hours and four minutes hours on court across the first four rounds; over 2.5 hours less than his Greek rival, who has notched 11 hours and 37 minutes of action.

Tsitsipas has spent a lot more time on the court than Sinner

Sinner's performance in his fourth round outing against 32nd seed Alex de Minaur was nearly flawless, enabling him to etch his name in history as the fifth Italian man to ever reach the Australian Open quarterfinals.

He also became the youngest man to reach the final eight in Melbourne since a 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios achieved the feat in 2015, and only the eighth player aged 20 or under to make the quarters since 2000.

On Rod Laver Arena, the hard-hitting Italian will be hunting his first upset of a top five player. Tsitsipas, ranked World No.6 when he was among Sinner's six career top 10 scalps, will be giving his all to avoid becoming a static.

Daniil Medvedev [2] vs Felix Auger-Aliassime [9]

Experience meets youth, take two. Medvedev, the wiry second seed has had Auger-Aliassime's number in the past, taking out the Canadian in all three prior battles, including a 6-4 6-0 victory earlier this month at the ATP Cup.

"He's a phenomenal player, so I will need to be at my best to try to win and to [give] him [a] hard time," said the 25-year-old Russian, who has had his serve broken just three times so far this fortnight.

To triumph, the 21 year-old Auger-Aliassime will need to post the biggest win of his career. The Canadian has scored seven victories over top 10 opponents – the highest-ranked being World No.3 Alex Zverev, also at this month's ATP Cup.

"I have nothing to lose," said Auger-Aliassime, well aware of his underdog status. "The reality is he's the best player almost in the world now," said the Canadian of Medvedev, who vanquished Novak Djokovic's pursuit of a calendar slam at last year's US Open with a remarkable straight sets win in the final.

"He's gonna give me a hard time and I need to be able to give a great effort both mentally and physically to go through.

"I need to play a great match, need to serve well."

Daniil Medvedev

The Canadian will likely be looking to improve his first-serve percentage, which has averaged 63 per cent in the opening four matches.

Notably, the young gun believes he can lift his game to match or even best Medvedev's, especially because he defied a prior 0-3 head-to-head record against Marin Cilic to surpass the Croat, a former US Open champion, in the fourth round.

"To beat a player you have lost to in the past just also proves to yourself that you have [made] improvements, you have become a better player," Auger-Aliassime said. 

Can he level-up to break his drought against the Russian? We can't wait to find out.