These two players have already met 3 times between 2018 and 2019. Daniil Medvedev won all three matches without losing a set.
This is Mackenzie McDonald’s fourth appearance in the final draw of this Grand Slam event. The American reached the 1/8 final for the first time in his career (he had never made it past the second round before). This is the second time he has reached this level in a Grand Slam tournament (after Wimbledon 2018) and he has never been able to go further.
Daniil Medvedev is competing in his fifth Australian Open. This is the third year in a row that he has reached these 1/8 finals, and he has never yet managed to go further. Last year, the Russian was knocked out by Stan Wawrinka in 5 sets.
In this edition
To get there, Mackenzie McDonald put in some great performances against Marco Cecchinato, Borna Coric and Lloyd Harris. These first two players managed to steal a set from him.
For his part, Daniil Medvedev won in 3 sets against Vasek Pospisil and Roberto Carballes Baena. He then faced Filip Krajinovic who managed to take him in a fifth set. The Russian was leading 2 sets to 0 and there were some complications.
Daniil Medvedev is expected to be a clear favorite to win this match. He’s been pretty monstrous since the end of last season and he’s going to face an opponent who has never been in the Top 50 before (although, I must admit, he deserves it more and more).
Like a lot of people, I will find it hard to imagine Daniil Medvedev’s defeat. Nevertheless, I will not put my highest confidence in this prediction. Daniil Medvedev had a small setback against Krajinovic which could be explained by a discomfort in the back of the thigh. In his last match, this caused him to lose his feeling in the 3rd and 4th set (he ended up calling the physiotherapist).
Mackenzie McDonald is very good physically. You can see that because his service is efficient but above all, he manages to keep up with the pace of the rallies. This week it was often his opponents who broke first.
Tennistically speaking, Daniil Medvedev obviously remains one notch above if he manages to play at his usual level (as during the first two one-way sets against Krajinovic for example). However, one will note the receiver qualities of Mackenzie McDonald who could manage to annoy the Russian more than once. You know, the little shot as soon as he comes back that leaves the waiter on his ass.
In the rallies, the American is able to show solidity and regularity. But he has yet to face an opponent like Daniil Medvedev. The latter should not make as many faults as McDonald’s previous opponents. Better still, the Russian could take control of the operation and regularly leave McDonald’s on the defensive. This is far from being an uncomfortable area for the American. But if you combine this with the intensity that Daniil Medvedev should impose on him, then I doubt he can hold out in this match where the winner should win 3 sets.
The key to this match is in the hands of Daniil Medvedev. If he plays at his level, there is no reason why he can’t find his compatriot Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. Unless Casper Ruud refuses to let a 1/4 final 100% Russian. And why not?
Prediction: Daniil Medvedev wins