Medvedev Marches On At US Open
The Russian, who recorded the 200th match win of his career in his first-round victory over Richard Gasquet, captured his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto and advanced to the semi-finals in Cincinnati in August.
“It was a great level from me,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “There were a few tight moments in the match which I managed to hold well and play well. At one moment his level dropped a little bit and I took advantage of it. I am really happy to be through in less than two hours.”
The 25-year-old produced another dominant performance against Koepfer, hitting with great consistency and depth as he fired 23 winners to advance in one hour and 48 minutes. Medvedev now leads the 27-year-old 2-0 in their ATPHead2Head Series and holds a 13-2 record since Wimbledon.
“I just try to win,” Medvedev said. “I have been playing a lot of strong guys on the Tour. It is the same with Novak [Djokovic]. You saw it yesterday. Every match he plays is a challenge. The more I win throughout my career and here in New York in this stadium, the better I will feel.”
Medvedev is aiming to lift his first major title at the US Open, having reached his maiden final at this level in New York in 2019, when he rallied from two sets down to force a fifth set against Rafael Nadal.
The 12-time tour-level champion, who also advanced to the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows last year, will next face Spaniard Pablo Andujar, who eliminated German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in two hours and five minutes. Medvedev has won trophies on hard in Marseille and on grass in Mallorca his year, while he also helped guide Russia to the ATP Cup title in February.
Medvedev made a fast start against Koepfer as he broke in the first game to take control. The Russian soaked up pressure from behind the baseline in the first set as the 27-year-old struggled to hit through Medvedev. While the World No. 2 was pegged back to 3-3, he quickly regained his advantage and sealed the set on serve to move ahead.
Medvedev then committed just 10 unforced errors in the second and third sets, breaking at the start of both as he chased down every ball to frustrate Koepfer. The 25-year-old sealed his win when Koepfer pushed a backhand wide.
“It is really special to be back with the crowd in New York,” Medvedev added. “It was a pity that last year we couldn’t have the crowd. I am just trying to be myself, sometimes in the bad moments as some people can remember and sometimes in the good moments, I just try to be myself and then the people can decide.”
Kopefer was trying to reach the third round at a major for the third time this season, having enjoyed runs to that stage at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. The German also fell to Medvedev at the US Open in 2019 in the fourth round.
Australian Alexei Popyrin also advanced to reach the third round at the US Open for the second time. The Singapore champion led 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(4), 7-6(4), 4-0 when the Bulgarian was forced to retire due to a foot injury.