LONDON : Daniil Medvedev’s victory over world number one Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon on Tuesday was the 36th men’s match this year to go to five sets – a new professional era Grand Slam record.

The Russian fifth seed won in exactly four hours to reach the semi-final where he will play Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.

Defending champion Alcaraz was also stretched to five sets against Frances Tiafoe in round three although he avoided going the distance when beating Tommy Paul on Tuesday.

With five more men’s singles matches remaining it would be a surprise if there were not a few more marathon tussles.

Asked for his opinion on why this year’s rain-hit Wimbledon had seen so many lengthy battles, Medvedev said the surface could well have something to do with it.

“I don’t know. Maybe the level is closer than before,” the 28-year-old told reporters.

“In my opinion, grass is always a surface where it’s very tough to win like straight three sets. One break can decide the outcome of the set. You do one bad game on your serve, double-fault, easy miss or something like this, you lose the set.

“It’s more about grasscourt tennis itself.”

The longest match in the men’s singles this year was Thanasi Kokkinakis’ five-set defeat of Felix Auger-Aliassime – a match lasting four hours and 38 minutes.


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