Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev beat Tomas Machac 7-6(4) 7-5 1-6 6-4 in an exhilarating clash under the roof on Court Suzanne-Lenglen on Saturday to move into the French Open last 16.

Machac was in the limelight last month when he stunned world number one Novak Djokovic in the Geneva Open semifinals for the biggest win of his career and he pushed Medvedev in a match lasting nearly three and a half hours.

“It was a very tough match, I’m very happy I stay constant even in the difficult moments,” Medvedev said.

“It was tight. The match could have turned one way or the other, but I’m happy I’m the one who won.”

There was little to separate the two in the opening set which went into a tiebreak where Machac produced one of the shots of the tournament that left Medvedev shell-shocked.

The Russian thought he had his opponent on the ropes as he approached the net, but Machac quickly changed direction and, knowing he could not reach the ball with his backhand, switched hands to win the point with a left-hand forehand pass.

Although Machac lost the tiebreak, he continued to play fearless tennis, taking the game to Medvedev with the crowd firmly behind the underdog as the two engaged in long rallies.

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On one occasion Machac anticipated the Russian’s wide serve by stepping up to cut the angle and fired a winner down the line to earn a roar from fans starved of action on a rainy day in Paris.

But the Czech lost his focus at 5-5 and made three unforced errors as well as a double fault to give Medvedev the break, and the Russian held serve to go two sets up.

Machac was broken again in the first game of the third set, but after an angry exchange with his team, he rediscovered his magic touch to win the next six games as Medvedev mentally capitulated.

Everything seemed to be going wrong for the Russian, who even saw a tennis ball fall out of his pocket during a rally as Machac forced a fourth set with a sublime winner.

Medvedev refocused, however, and despite Machac’s bold attempts to force a decider with risky shots when he was backed into a corner, the Russian stepped up in the crucial points to advance. 

Auger-Aliassime sets up Round of 16 clash with Alcaraz

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the French Open last 16, setting up a match with Carlos Alcaraz after a dominant victory over Ben Shelton of the United States on Saturday.

The 21st-seeded Canadian cruised to a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 win against his 15th-ranked opponent in a match that was carried over from Friday.

(inputs from AFP)