Medvedev Sweeps Past Pospisil Into Second Round
Fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev didn’t miss a beat at Melbourne Park on Tuesday as he kicked off his Australian Open campaign with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Vasek Pospisil.
The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion has not lost a match since last October, a career best 15-match winning streak that dates back to his title at the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters. Medvedev continued his dominance in the new year, notching an undefeated run as Russia’s No. 1 singles player en route to the ATP Cup trophy.
“It was good in a way that we didn’t lose a match [at the ATP Cup], but on the other side, we played Sunday and had a lot of matches against Top 10 opponents,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “[I] didn’t know how it would be physically, so I’m happy that I managed to finish it fast and feeling good.”
Medvedev carried all of that momentum into Margaret Court Arena, where he faced former World No. 25 Pospisil in the first round. The Canadian was playing his first match of the year after going through two weeks of hard quarantine, and the rust was evident against one of the most in-form players on Tour.
Pospisil was determined to make it a battle, and he gave Medvedev early trouble with his slice backhands in the opening set as he tried to take the pace out of the rallies. But Medvedev wasn’t rattled, and he punished Pospisil’s serve-and-volley with his aggressive returning to take the first set with a double break.
The unforced errors would ultimately be Pospisil’s undoing against a Medvedev that didn’t seem to know how to miss, racking up 43 to offset his 25 winners. Medvedev reeled off five games in a row as he closed out the second set, and earned a late break in the third set. That allowed him to serve out the match after an hour and 50 minutes.
“Vasek can play really good tennis,” Medvedev said. “He just told me after the match he wasn’t able to have the best preparation because of hard quarantine, and he also hurt his back for a few days... I was lucky in this way, but I knew I had to go out here and win this match, because it’s my job.”
In the second round, the 2019 US Open runner-up will meet Roberto Carballes Baena. The Spaniard broke serve on five occasions to beat Attila Balazs 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Medvedev is looking to become the first Russian Grand Slam men’s singles champion since Marat Safin won the title here in 2005.
Filip Krajinovic also booked his place in the second round on Tuesday. The 28th seed overcame lucky loser Robin Haase 7-6(4), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and 14 minutes on Court 12. Krajinovic will next face Pablo Andujar, who won 100 per cent of his net points (10/10) to beat French qualifier Quentin Halys 6-4, 7-5, 7-5.