Published: 17:00, July 4, 2021 | Updated: 17:00, July 4, 2021
Medvedev claws back two-set deficit to beat Cilic

Russia's Daniil Medvedev returns against Croatia's Marin Cilic during their men's singles third round match on the sixth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 3, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP)

LONDON - Second seed Daniil Medvedev overturned a two-set deficit for the first time in his career to grind down former runner-up Marin Cilic in a bruising third-round clash at Wimbledon on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Russian looked flat in the opening two sets as Cilic used his powerful serve and forehand to great effect but Medvedev calmly wrestled back control to neutralise his opponent's game and claim a 6-7(3) 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory.

Having enjoyed his longest career runs at this year's Australian Open (runner-up) and French Open (quarter-final), Medvedev has now posted a new Wimbledon best by reaching the last 16 where he will face Poland's 14th seed Hubert Hurkacz.

The 25-year-old Russian looked flat in the opening two sets as Cilic used his powerful serve and forehand to great effect but Medvedev calmly wrestled back control to neutralise his opponent's game and claim a 6-7(3) 3-6 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory

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Cilic edged the opening set on a tiebreak and when he bludgeoned a forehand winner to carve out a set point in the second, and was then gifted a Medvedev double-fault, it looked like the Croatian 32nd seed was in total control.

But the heat went out of Cilic's game as the evening dragged on and Medvedev patiently clawed his way back from the brink.

The Russian broke serve at 2-2 in the third set when Cilic missed a forehand down the line and got the double break when he chased down a dropshot to hit a deftly-angled winner.

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It was a similar story in the third set as Medvedev began to dictate the points with his relentless accuracy and by the time the fifth set started Cilic looked totally deflated, asking the chair umpire how much light there was left for play.

The 32-year-old Croat perhaps wanted the roof to be closed to halt the Russian's charge but Medvedev was ruthless in the decider as he stormed into a 5-0 lead.