Medvedev Marches Past Sonego, Meets Zverev Next In Monte-Carlo

Third seed posts Tour-leading 30th win of 2023 season

A change of surface, but no change in Daniil Medvedev’s ability to dominate opponents.

The third seed made an electric start to his 2023 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters campaign on Wednesday by defeating the dangerous free-hitting Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-2.

Medvedev was dialled in from the start of his first clay-court match of the year. He moved into an early 3-0 lead with the help of some delightful early touches at the net and he stayed typically relentless from the baseline throughout to seal an 89-minute victory on Court Rainier III.

“Every match is a struggle [on clay], but I have had some good matches on clay,” said Medvedev. “I managed to play good against a very strong player on clay. Lorenzo is very strong. Here in Monte-Carlo there are a lot of Italians in the crowd, but a lot of French also, so it was fun to play, and I am happy to beat such a tough opponent.”

The World No. 45 Sonego has the weapons to hurt anyone on Tour on his day, but the wild card struggled to turn vocal support from the Italian fans in the crowd into consistency that could challenge Medvedev. The World No. 5 fended off the only break point he faced and won 90 per cent (27/30) of points behind his first serve to clinch his 25th win in his past 26 tour-level matches.

“It’s completely different on clay, but confidence is confidence,” said the 19-time tour-level titlist Medvedev. “It’s about winning matches, because it is always two players that play, and one is going to win… I hope to bring this confidence even further.”

Medvedev, who has lifted hard-court trophies in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai and Miami during his recent red-hot run, moves on to a third-round showdown against Alexander Zverev at the ATP Masters 1000 event. The 13th seed earlier eased past Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4. It will be the 14th tour-level clash between Medvedev and Zverev, but the first on clay.

“We’ve had some tough matches,” said Medvedev, who leads Zverev 7-6 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series. “We played for the first time maybe seven years ago on the ATP Tour, and in juniors maybe 12 years ago. I remember I beat him once in a final on clay in juniors, but it’s going to be a different story.

“I saw him in the first two matches, he seemed to be in good shape. I’m just going to have to be at my best.”

Another seeded player to notch a confident second-round win on Wednesday was Karen Khachanov. The ninth seed downed Ilya Ivashka 7-6(2), 6-2 to set a third-round showdown against fifth seed Andrey Rublev.

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