Daniil Medvedev notches up ‘nice’ milestone as he eases his way to Mexican win: ‘We’ll try to get more’
Daniil Medvedev made his return to competitive tennis with a comfortable win over Rinky Hijikata in the second round of the Los Cabos Open and he secured a “nice” milestone in the process.
Playing for the first time since the Mallorca Championships in June after he missed Wimbledon due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players, Medvedev needed just one hour and 30 minutes to claim a 6-4, 6-3 win over the Australian wildcard.
Both players were strong on their serve in the first set with Hijikata saving one break point in game four, but the world No 1 eventually put the foot down in game 10 with the break giving him the set.
The second set started with both saving a couple of break points, but Medvedev became stronger on his own serve with a couple of holds to love while he put pressure on the world No 224.
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The top seed finally broke to love in game six and then served it out for his 250th match win.
“Somebody told me this a few days ago at media day, otherwise I would not have known,” Medvedev said. “That’s probably a milestone in a way. For sure I want more victories but that’s also nice to have 250. We’ll try to get more.”
The 26-year-old will face Ricardas Berankis in the quarter-final after the Lithuanian beat Facunda Bagnis from Argentina 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
US Open champion Medvedev, though, is pleased to get some mileage under his belt on the hard courts and the win will give him a boost in his hopes to stay at the top of the rankings.
The Russian admitted in the lead-up to the event that he needs to win several tournaments during the back-end of the season if he is to be the season-ending world No 1.
“It’s definitely not that easy to play after you stop for a while, especially [playing my] first match on hard courts in a long, long time, since Miami,” he said.
“Sensations were not bad. I could have just broke a little bit more, but when you win, everything is fine. I have to play like this in the next matches.”
Second-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime also reached the last eight as the Canadian defeated Alex Hernandez from Mexico 6-3, 7-5 while third seed Cameron Norrie opened the defence of his title with a confident 6-3, 6-0 victory over Tseng Chun-hsin from Taiwan.
Auger-Aliassime will face American Steve Johnson next will Great Britain’s Norrie squares off against Romania’s Radu Albot.
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