Medvedev retires injured from Madrid Open, Swiatek returns to final

Iga Swiatek beat Madison Keys in straight sets to reach her second consecutive Madrid Open final (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU)
Iga Swiatek beat Madison Keys in straight sets to reach her second consecutive Madrid Open final (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU)

Third seed Daniil Medvedev retired injured from his Madrid Open quarter-final clash with Jiri Lehecka on Thursday, a day after Jannik Sinner was forced to withdraw from the clay-court tournament.

Earlier women's world number one Iga Swiatek cruised through to a second consecutive Madrid Open final with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Madison Keys.

Russia's Medvedev needed a medical time-out early in the last eight match and struggled through to the end of the first set with an apparent upper thigh problem, losing it 6-4 before retiring.

Czech Lehecka progressed to his first Masters 1000 semi-final, where he will face Felix Auger Aliassime, who received a walkover after top seed Sinner withdrew Wednesday with a hip problem.

"It's never easy in a match like this," said Lehecka.

"If I were to choose the way how to win this match, it wouldn't be like that.

"It's never easy to see your opponent struggling, but at that moment, you just need to focus on yourself, trying to get the maximum level out of yourself."

Medvedev took an off-court medical timeout after the fifth game, all holds of serve, and when he returned clearly had problems moving freely around the court.

The world number four saved two break points to hold for a 4-3 lead as Lehecka floundered, laughing to himself at his fortune in winning the seventh game despite playing through obvious pain.

The Czech, who knocked-out Rafael Nadal on Wednesday, settled down and capitalised on Medvedev's woes to break in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead, serving it out as his opponent went long.

Medvedev won just four of the last 16 points before deciding to call it a night, with fans left disappointed. The other men's quarter-final set for Thursday had been cancelled after Sinner's withdrawal.

The 28-year-old Medvedev is the defending champion at the Italian Open, which starts next week, while the French Open, the season's second Grand Slam event, gets underway in just over three weeks' time.

Taylor Fritz will face Andrey Rublev in the other semi-final on Friday, after the Russian ousted home favourite Carlos Alcaraz on Wednesday.

- Superb Swiatek -

Dominant on clay, Swiatek barely put a foot wrong against Keys, making just eight unforced errors in the match to leave the 29-year-old American with virtually no chance.

"I'm really happy that I had such a solid game today," Swiatek said on court after reaching her 11th WTA 1000 final.

"Madison is an amazing player with a really fast game and a big serve, so I wanted to focus on myself and I'm happy I was focussed."

The top seed, triumphant at Doha and Indian Wells, started in unforgiving form.

Swiatek broke to love in the second game and dropped just three of the first 17 points.

Keys, seeded 18th, battled back to hold from 0-30 down for a 3-1 deficit, fighting to stay in the set.

However last year's Madrid runner-up broke again for a 5-1 lead and served it out to wrap up the first set in 31 minutes.

The clinical Swiatek broke for a 2-1 lead in the second set with a superb passing shot and never relinquished her advantage, even though Keys was more competitive.

The 22-year-old four-time Grand Slam winner broke once more to seal her victory when world number 20 Keys went long.

Later reigning champion and second seed Aryna Sabalenka faces Elena Rybakina in the second semi-final, ahead of Saturday's showdown with Swiatek.