‘The most important thing is the victory,’ says Daniil Medvedev as he overcomes shaky set at Paris Masters

Daniil Medvedev plays a shot

He didn’t have it all his own way initially, but Daniil Medvedev upped his game to get his Paris Masters title defence up and running with victory over Ilya Ivashka.

The US Open champion made a confident start against Ivashka, but lost his way slightly midway through the opening set before getting his act together for a 7-5, 6-4 victory in one hour and 30 minutes.

Medvedev raced into a 5-1 lead with breaks in games one and five, but he then lost four games in a row as the Belarusian drew level only to break for a third time in game seven.

A break in game three of the second set was enough to earn the Russian the win.

“The last time we played he beat me at Davis Cup,” Medvedev said.

“I’ve known him since the Futures and I knew that he’s a great player on the rise, so I knew it would not be easy.

“At the beginning of the match [my level] was good but in the middle of the match there were some things I could do better. The most important thing is the victory.

“It doesn’t matter how you play in the first round. The one who raises his level throughout the tournament is the one who will win it.”

Up next is Sebastian Korda after the American defeated Marin Cilic, who won the title in St Petersburg on Sunday, 6-2, 6-4.

“It’s always exciting to play someone for the first time,” world No 2 Medvedev added.

“We’ve never even practised together. He just had a great win over Marin who is coming off a tournament win, so I’m very excited to play him tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, fourth seed Alexander Zverev held off Dusan Lajovic from Serbia, winning 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to set up a clash against 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who beat 2018 champion Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.

Carlos Alcaraz won the battle of the young stars as the 18-year-old Spaniard defeated 20-year-old Jannik Sinner 7-6 (7-1), 7-5 to damage the Italian’s chances of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals.

“I’m so happy for this win as Jannik was fighting for a spot at the ATP Finals,” Alcaraz said.

“It’s my third Top 10 win of the year. I think Jannik and I will have a great rivalry in the future… I think that I played really, really aggressive, more than him. I think that was one of the keys.”