Medvedev Survives Stern Shevchenko Test In Madrid

  • Posted: May 01, 2023

Medvedev Survives Stern Shevchenko Test In Madrid

Second seed to meet De Minaur or Karatsev in fourth round

Daniil Medvedev added a second triumph to his 2023 Mutua Madrid Open campaign on Monday, but not before the second seed was given a real scare by qualifier Alexander Shevchenko at the clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event.

Medvedev twice rallied from a break down in the deciding set to claim a tense 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win on Manolo Santana Stadium. He was forced to call on all his renowned defensive abilities to keep the 22-year-old Shevchenko at bay, but held firm in the Madrid heat to seal a two-hour, 43-minute triumph.

“He played well. He’s young, so I’m sure he’s going to up the rankings, especially if he plays like in this tournament,” said Medvedev of Shevchenko, who has risen five spots to No. 91 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings as a result of his run to the third round on his Masters 1000 main-draw debut. “It’s always like this. He’s still young so he has a lot of time to go up.

“I practised with him before, I know that he can play very good, so the more consistent he is [and] the more matches he plays like this, maybe next time he’s going to win and the higher he is going to go. I’m very happy that today I managed to beat him.”

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Shevchenko made a lightning start to his first match against a Top 10 opponent. The 22-year-old forged an ultimately unassailable 5-1 lead in the first set but soon found himself 0-5 down in the second as Medvedev began to counter his opponent’s high-class shotmaking with typical resilience from the baseline.

After forcing a decider, Medvedev trailed 0-2 and then 2-4 in the third set but fended off the upset by staying more solid than Shevchenko in the latter stages. At one point successfully returning 53 serves in a row, Medvedev’s refusal to miss in extended exchanges was key.

“I feel like I played pretty well in the second and third sets, and maybe the end of the first,“ said Medvedev. “The thing about clay [is] usually it is tough for me to start matches for whatever reason. I need a lot of time to get used to everything that is happening on the court. The third set [I could] have been a bit better at crucial moments, or maybe a lot better. But finally I won, so that counts also.”

“I remember last game of the first set, when I started playing better and better, I missed two or three and I was like ‘That’s not good’,” added Medvedev on his remarkable returning streak. “That makes a difference, that puts a lot of pressure on your opponent, and maybe that’s why I had so many opportunities on his serve.”

Now having won consecutive matches in Madrid for the first time, Medvedev will hope to continue his red-hot 2023 form in his fourth-round clash against Alex de Minaur or Aslan Karatsev. The 27-year-old holds a Tour-leading 33-4 record the season, a tally which has propelled him to first place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

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