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Daniil Medvedev in action during his third-round victory over Miomir Kecmanovic at Roland Garros on Saturday.

Dialled-In Medvedev Charges Past Kecmanovic

Second seed to face Simon or Cilic in fourth round at Roland Garros

After a pair of solid opening wins to start his 2022 Roland Garros campaign, Daniil Medvedev hit his stride against Miomir Kecmanovic in the third round on Saturday afternoon.

The second seed produced a high-class display to ease past the World No. 31 Kecmanovic at the clay-court Grand Slam, running out a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 winner in Paris.

Medvedev comfortably beat Facundo Bagnis and Laslo Djere in straight sets in his opening two rounds in the French capital. The 26-year-old found a different level to his game in overcoming the challenge of Kecmanovic, however, a sign that the 13-time tour-level titlist is nearing his best after missing much of the European clay season due to a hernia procedure.

“[It] was a great match against a tough opponent,” said Medvedev in his post-match press conference. “To be honest, before the match, I would never have thought I could make this score happen on clay courts.

“Everything I wanted to do today worked. I was serving great. I feel like I was almost putting all the returns in and I made his life tough. Maybe he didn't play his best level, [but] I managed from my side to make his life as tough as possible, and it was enough to win today.”

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Medvedev was taking on one of the in-form players on the ATP Tour in the 22-year-old Serbian, but that didn’t seem to affect the World No. 2 as he produced a sublime display featuring clean baseline hitting, precisely placed drop shots and authoritative net coverage to ease to a one-hour, 48-minute victory.

"It's early to say, but I'm progressing,” said Medvedev when asked about his prospects for a deep run in Paris. “Today was a tough match. I don't think I can play better than that on clay. I served well. There were only two break points where I could do better, [I] could avoid break points, but we are talking about perfection here.

“Physically I felt well. I did not play a four- or five-setter. We should see this if that happens, but I haven't had any five-setter in the first and second round, so it should be good."

Medvedev was dialled in from the start on Court Suzanne Lenglen, striking his groundstrokes with purpose in a commanding first set performance. He broke Kecmanovic twice as the Serb struggled to settle, particularly on his forehand side.

The second seed’s momentum showed no sign of slowing into the second set. He broke Kecmanovic immediately to edge ahead, and although the Serb found some rhythm on serve to reel off three consecutive holds to love and exert some pressure on his opponent, Medvedev had all the answers. The World No. 2 held firm to seal the second set and ran away with proceedings in the third as he maintained a high level until the end to seal a statement win on the clay.

Kecmanovic has enjoyed a strong 2022 season and came into his first tour-level meeting with Medvedev owning a 25-11 match record for the year, but the Serb was given few chances to make an impact against a barrage of clean hitting from his opponent. Medvedev struck 42 winners to Kecmanovic’s 24, breaking the Serb five times and saving each of the two break points he faced.

After losing his first four main draw matches at Roland Garros from 2017 to 2020, Medvedev is now a win away from reaching a second consecutive quarter-final in the French capital. Should he make it to next week's final at Roland Garros, he will return to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on 13 June.

His fourth-round opponent will be 20th seed Marin Cilic, after the Croatian notched a 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 third-round win to end home favourite Gilles Simon's run. It was the final Roland Garros appearance of Simon's career, with the 37-year-old Frenchman set to retire at the end of the 2022 season.

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