Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev set to write a new chapter in storied rivalry

Daniil Medvedev in action

We will get a new chapter in the storied rivalry between Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev in Monte Carlo this week.

Medvedev secured passage into the last 16 with a confidence-boosting victory over Italian Lorenzo Sonego on Wednesday.

Much has been made of how he would adapt to the transition to clay, but Medvedev appeared to be on the money from the word go in his first match on the surface this season.

After taking an early 3-0 lead, Medvedev was relentless and would clinch a 6-3, 6-2 in just under 90 minutes.

Despite the apparent ease of his victory, Medvedev insisted that for him, there are no simple matches on clay.

“Every match is a struggle [on clay], but I have had some good matches on clay,” said Medvedev after his win on Court Rainier III.

“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.”

Medvedev was unfazed by the shotmaking ability of Sonego and the vocal crowd backing the Italian player.

This victory might well act as a link between his excellent hard court form and finding a way to win consistently on clay.

“It’s completely different on clay, but confidence is confidence,” said Medvedev who is chasing his 20th career title.

“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 faces a familiar foe in the next round and leads Zverev 7-6 in their head-to-head series.

The world No 5 expects another intense battle with Zverev who had earlier eased past Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4.

“We’ve had some tough matches,” said Medvedev.

“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.”

Zverev made quick work of a man who is no slouch on clay and that should serve as a warning to Medvedev.

Medvedev and Zverev will meet on Thursday afternoon in Monte Carlo.

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