Casper Ruud withdrew after losing the first two sets of his fourth-round match at the Australian Open and giving world No.8 Andrey Rublev an easier run in an all-Russian quarter-final against fourth-seed Daniil Medvedev.
Ruud, the No. 24 seed, was forced to take medical time out in the second set where he was treated for an apparent injury to the stomach muscles. Ruud, who was trailing by a break early in the second set, later led 5-3 after winning four straight games before Rublev returned to force a tie-break.
Rublev went on to hold the second set tiebreaker for the game at Margaret Court Arena, with Ruud retiring due to his injury after falling behind 6-2, 7-6 (3). The timing of his retirement raised question marks as he struggled with the injury until the second set was retired.
In total, the match lasted 1 hour and 17 minutes.
Rublev now advances to a fourth Grand Slam quarter-final and joins two other Russians in the last eight. This is the first time in the Open era that three Russian men have reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament.
Medvedev earlier defeated American Mackenzie McDonald in straight sets. Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev also reached the quarter-finals in the other half of the draw.
“At least one of us [Russian players] will be in the semi-finals, ”Rublev said in his post-match interview.
At least that’s the good news. But it’s going to be a tough game. I mean, the last time he beat me in the quarterfinals at the US Open.
“Now we are back in quarterfinals at the Australian Open. So we’ll see what happens. I hope we can show a great fight and a great level.”
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