Mixed fortunes: Khachanov books Olympic semi-final spot for ROC but Medvedev obliterates racket after crashing out
Aiming to set up an all-Russian semi-final, Khachanov kept up his side of the bargain by edging out France’s Ugo Humbert 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3 on Thursday.
But tired-looking world number two Medvedev later fell short against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, who won their quarter-final 6-2 7-6 (7-5).
Sixth seed Carreno Busta will now play 12th-seeded Khachanov for a place in the final in Tokyo.
Matches in the Japanese capital began later in the day than originally planned, after organizers bowed to pressure over the stifling conditions which had caused disturbing scenes in the tournament so far.
Medvedev, 25, had been among those to suffer most visibly on court, telling the umpire he felt like he “can die” during his match in the previous round.Also on rt.com Tennis bosses move Tokyo match times after Medvedev says he ‘could die’ on concerning day of heat exhaustion for players
Medvedev wasn't as burdened on Thursday but still appeared weary against the fresher-looking Carreno Busta, who took the first set with a double break of serve.
Medvedev returned with a new shirt after a pause between sets and briefly seemed revived, claiming a break of serve in game three, only to relinquish that in game eight.
The big Russian held serve twice to stay in the tournament, but was undone in the tie-break.
Medvedev capped a typically colorful tournament appearance – in which he had also clashed with a journalist who asked him about 'Russian cheaters' – by smashing his racket into the court after match point.
When will pantomime become an Olympic sport? Because we know who would be the first Olympic champion in it. pic.twitter.com/JsC703gghG— Oleg S. (@AnnaK_4ever) July 29, 2021
Elsewhere in the draw, Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic demolished local hero Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-0 to move into the last four.
Djokovic is seeking to become the first man ever to win a ‘Golden Slam’ consisting of all four majors and the Olympic title in the same year.
The 34-year-old already has the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles in the bag, and will face Germany's Alexander Zverev or France's Jeremy Chardy in his semi-final.
In the women’s doubles, there was disappointment for the ROC team as Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina lost a tight semi-final against Czech pairing Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova.
The ROC duo will now contest the bronze medal match against either the Brazilian or Swiss teams.
There were brighter fortunes in the mixed doubles, where ROC pair Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won their quarter-final against Japan’s Ben McLachlan and Ena Shibahara. The Russian duo will next meet the Australian partnership of Ash Barty and John Peers.
Meanwhile, Russian mixed pairing Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev also booked a last four spot after seeing off Lukasz Kubot and Iga Swiatek of Poland later on Thursday. They will now play Serbia in their semi-final.