Russia's Daniil Medvedev serves against Portugal's Nuno Borges at the Australian Open

Melbourne (AFP) - Two-time runner-up Daniil Medvedev said Monday he is good enough to take the next step and go all the way to the title at the Australian Open this year.

The Russian overcame stubborn resistance from Portugal’s Nuno Borges to book a place in the quarter-finals 6-3, 7-6 (74), 5-7, 6-1 and will meet Polish ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz next.

World number three Medvedev, whose only Grand Slam title was at the 2021 US Open, was a Melbourne finalist in 2021 and 2022, losing to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

But he said he had improved since then and was capable of making it count this time.

“I know what I’m worth. I know how good I can play,” he said.

“I proved it at the US Open, especially for myself, playing some tough opponents, in my opinion, like gamestyle-wise. I managed to beat them.

“I’m ready. Hopefully I can show it on the tennis court. We can talk forever who is ready, who is favourite. You need to win.”

The 27-year-old must first get past Hurkacz, who has one of the biggest and best serves in the game, using it to great effect against French wildcard Arthur Cazaux.

They have met five times before, with the Polish ninth seed winning the last two, both in 2022.

“He serves well. It’s tough to return his serve. By number of aces, he was number one, maybe actually the best serve last year,” Medvedev said.

“That’s going to be the key. I need to stay strong on my serve, don’t give him the break, either try to break him or go to the tie-break and try to win the tie-break.

“Going to prepare well mentally tomorrow.”

Before this year’s Australian Open, Borges had never won back-to-back Tour-level matches outside of Davis Cup and his lack of pedigree was ultimately exposed.

The key difference was the unforced error count, with Borges making 66 to Medvedev’s 34.

But it was nevertheless a sterling effort by the 26-year-old, who was the first Portuguese player ever through to the second week in Melbourne.

Medvedev’s baseline power was a standout factor in the first set, with the only break coming in the sixth game as the Russian dominated long rallies.

Borges bravely held his own until 3-3 in the second set before crumbling under the Russian’s unrelenting groundstrokes, conceding the break.

But the world number three then lost focus and his fourth double fault of the match at 30-40 in the next game put the set back on level terms.

It went to a tie-break, with Medvedev surviving another double fault to prevail.

The Russian manoeuvred to the cusp of victory at 5-2 in the third set, but Borges refused to go quietly, winning the next five games to keep the match alive.

It was a wake-up call for Medvedev, who raced through the fourth set in 24 minutes as Borges flagged.