‘I knew I had to play better if I was to win,’ admits Daniil Medvedev after rain came to his rescue
He was a bit all over the show early on against Alexander Bublik, but Daniil Medvedev eventually hit his stride after a rain delay to book his place in the third round of the Canadian Open.
After Bublik took the opening set 6-4 courtesy a break in game nine, play was halted due to rain with the scores 2-1 in Medvedev’s favour in the second set.
When the action resumed, the top-seeded Russian dominated proceedings as he broke in game six to take it to a decider while a break in the opening game of the third set earned him the 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in two hours.
Top seed, top notch 👏
2019 finalist @DaniilMedwed battles back to defeat Alexander Bublik 4-6 6-3 6-4 at #NBO21 pic.twitter.com/UKEmvp0t1P
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) August 10, 2021
“[The rain delay] helped a lot,” Medvedev said after the match. “I don’t know if the conditions changed with the humidity, but I was not playing well before the rain. I had my opportunities. I was missing second-serve returns, missing balls. I knew I had to play better if I was to win.
“When back on the court, from the first game I felt much better. I only felt better and better during the match, he did not have one break point [after the rain]. I turned around the match completely. It is a tough draw, even without Rafael Nadal. It does open up the draw [though] for sure.”
The Russian will face either 16th seed Jannik Sinner, who won the Citi Open over the weekend, or qualifier James Duckworth in the third round.
Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also required three sets to advance as he held off Ugo Humbert to win 6-3, 6-7 (13-15), 6-1 in two hours and 35 minutes.
The second set tie-break took 22 minutes to complete.
Was there any doubt? Our Cashmere Match of the Day is Stefanos Tsitsipas’ epic opening-round win over Ugo Humbert featuring a 28-point tiebreak. 🤯#NBO21 pic.twitter.com/Jd7tSjhtp9
— National Bank Open (@NBOtoronto) August 11, 2021
“It’s all about the fighting spirit,” Tsitsipas said after the match. “I’m someone who doesn’t like to give up… It wasn’t easy out there today. I had to do a lot. I put a lot of effort into stepping it up and to be my best today.”
Up next for the Greek is either 15th seed Aslan Karatsev or Karen Khachanov, who beat Cameron Norrie 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the second round.
Sixth seed Casper Ruud also reached the third round following a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Marin Cilic while Reilly Opelka, who beat Nick Kyrgios in the opening round, defeated 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4.
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