Sun, 22 May 2022

No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev advances at raucous Australian Open

Field Level Media
21 Jan 2022, 02:40 GMT+10

Russian Daniil Medvedev fought off home-country favorite Nick Kyrgios and a noisy crowd on Thursday to advance to the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

With the crowd at Rod Laver Arena solidly behind the Australian Kyrgios, Medvedev pulled out a 7-6 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory thattook nearly three hours.

Kyrgios had topped Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, in each of their past two meetings.

"Against Nick, it's a tough matchup," Medvedev said. "I know he can serve big, and that's already really tough. I felt like I was returning really well today and yet to break him it was really tough. But these kind of matches, first, second, third round of a slam, it's a big challenge where if you make it, you (say), 'OK, if I can continue playing like this, I can go far.'"

Even in the face of a raucous crowd, Medvedev was unrattled. He struck 31 aces and had 68 winners against 29 unforced errors. He won 85 percent of the points on his first serve, compared to 74 for Kyrgios, who hit 47 winners and 31 unforced errors.

Medvedev is seeking his second career Grand Slam title after winning the 2021 U.S. Open. He lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open last year.

Kyrgios, known for his showmanship, was seeking his first victory against a Top 5 player since 2019.

"I thought the atmosphere was awesome," Kyrgios said. "That's what sport is. You've got the most entertaining player playing in his home slam on Rod Laver. You'd expect the crowd to be like that. I can understand it's a gentleman's game, but it's about time that people embraced some sort of different energy in this sport otherwise it will die out. It's just that simple."

In the next round, Medvedev will meet Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands. The Dutchman advanced when Richard Gasquet of France retired in the third set with van de Zandschulp leading 4-6, 6-4, 4-0.

Also advancing was No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who defeated Sebastian Baez of Argentina 7-6 (1), 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round in Melbourne for the fourth straight year. He'll face Benoit Paire of France, who knocked out the No. 26 seed, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2).

The No. 9 seed, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, was pushed to four tiebreakers in defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). Next up for him is No. 24 seed Daniel Evans of Great Britain, who advanced in a walkover.

Other seeded players moving on were No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy, No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, No. 20 Taylor Fritz of the United States, No. 27 Marin Cilic of Croatia and No. 32 Alex de Minaur of Australia.

Andy Murray of Great Britain, a five-time Australian Open finalist, was knocked out by Taro Daniel of Japan 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

--Field Level Media

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