Medvedev Charges Past Paul In Beijing Opener

Sinner survives Evans test at ATP 500

Daniil Medvedev made a red-hot return to China after four years away on Friday, when the World No. 3 eased past Tommy Paul 6-2, 6-1 in Beijing.

Medvedev delivered a stunning display of clean-hitting at the China Open to seal a Tour-leading 39th hard-court win of the season in just 81 minutes. The 27-year-old made just three unforced errors off the ground in his first-round triumph, a level of consistency that ensured Paul was kept under relentless pressure for the entire match.

“It’s not easy for both of us. Both of us a little jet lagged. Him maybe more, coming from Vancouver,” reflected Medvedev. “Maybe that made the difference, but if I think only about myself, I’m happy with my level.

“I played great. The start of the match was not easy, but it’s never easy first round, especially in another part of the world. Then I was playing better and better during the match, so I’m happy about my level.”

Paul regularly approached the net to try and counter Medvedev’s baseline prowess and won 79 per cent (23/29) of points moving forward, but he was still unable to gain a foothold in the encounter. Medvedev converted five of 11 break points he earned to improve to 2-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with the American.

Medvedev is making his debut this year at the ATP 500 in Beijing, where he will next meet Alex de Minaur. He is chasing his second title on Chinese soil and his third in Asia overall at the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center, having triumphed in Tokyo in 2018 and at the Rolex Shanghai Masters in 2019.

Sixth seed Jannik Sinner joined Medvedev in the second round but only after he was made to battle for two-hours, 51 minutes by Daniel Evans for a 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-3 win.

Evans rallied from a break down to level in both the second and third sets on Lotus Court but was unable to complete a comeback in the deciding set as Sinner held firm in the pair’s maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. The Beijing crowd was treated to a series of all-court exchanges between the two before Sinner’s baseline power ultimately told as he outhit his opponent by 39 winners to 23 en route to victory.

The 22-year-old Sinner will next take on Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who downed #NextGenATP home favourite Shang Juncheng 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. The Italian, a titlist this year in Montpellier and Toronto, is now 16-1 for the season in opening matches at tour-level events.

Friday’s win is another boost for Sinner in his bid to qualify directly for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, where he competed on home soil at the season-ending event as an alternate two years ago. The World No. 7 is currently fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

More stories like this in: