Medvedev Overcomes Rain, Nosebleeds, And Martinez
Daniil Medvedev faced several unexpected issues on Thursday that might have rattled some players, but none of it stopped his forward momentum. The fourth-seeded Russian easily dismissed Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the third round at the Australian Open.
"I think there are still some things to improve. I think I could be more aggressive [in a] few moments of the match," Medvedev said. "Of course, when you win three sets, you don't want to discuss your level too much. Happy with the win, happy with the win in three sets without a tie-break finally."
Next up for Medvedev is #NextGenATP Aussie Alexei Popyrin, who delighted the home crowd with a 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-2 victory over Spaniard Jaume Munar. The 20-year-old hit a staggering 56 winners en route to matching his result from last year in Melbourne.
"I played him in Wimbledon last year and it was a really tough match, exhausting one. A really close one," Medvedev said. "I managed to win it, but last Australian Open, we already saw how he can play in Grand Slams in front of the home crowd."
Showers forced the roof in Margaret Court Arena to be closed in the second game of the match, but it didn’t throw off Medvedev and he raced to a 4-1 lead in 20 minutes. Martinez, who earned the right to faced Medvedev by scoring his first tour-level win on Tuesday, adjusted his tactics. He eschewed extended baseline rallies with the Russian and was rewarded for moving forward, sparking a roar from the crowd when he broke at 4-2 to get back on serve.
But the effort it takes to win points against Medvedev eventually took its toll on the Spaniard. Serving at 5-6, a weary Martinez missed a pair of routine forehands to give the fourth seed an early lead.
Medvedev sensed his opportunity and pounced, pushing the qualifier around with crosscourt angles before delivering down-the-line winners. The only thing that didn’t go the Russian’s way in the second set was a nosebleed that required medical treatment at 5-0, but he quickly regrouped to take a commanding advantage.
The third set was one-way traffic for Medvedev as his swings got longer and his timing got even sweeter. A desperate Martinez even attempted an underhand serve at 2-2 to disrupt the fourth seed, but it didn't keep him from breaking the Spaniard and sprinting to victory. A strong backhand from Medvedev wrapped up play after two hours and nine minutes. He finished the day with 40 winners to just 25 unforced errors