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Mar 23, 2024 10:34 pm

Daniil Medvedev begins title defense with win at Miami Open

daniil medvedev

Third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev started his Miami Open title defense with a 6-4, 6-2, second-round victory over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla.

After having a first-round bye, Medvedev had to wait even longer to get on the court when his match with Fucsovics — originally scheduled for Friday — was rescheduled due to rain. But Medvedev showed little signs of rust, converting 3 of 3 break points and winning 30 of 37 first-serve points to advance to the round of 32.

“Yesterday was the toughest, as I was 99 percent sure I wouldn’t play (due to the rain), and I would like to have stayed at the hotel, but I couldn’t risk a walkover,” Medvedev said Saturday. “I’m ready to play whenever. I like to play.

“It was tough for both of us to make winners and I knew I needed to stay calm. … The first match is always the toughest. Hopefully this is just the start.”

Medvedev beat Italian Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-3 in the 2023 final, but Sinner, the No. 2 seed this year, was a winner on Saturday, topping countryman and qualifier Andrea Vavassori 6-3, 6-4.

“I’m happy about the performance,” Sinner said. “For sure it’s tough, especially with a player when I have zero idea what is coming. So I had to prepare well.”

Medvedev and Sinner were just two of eight players to ward off upsets, joining No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany, Norwegian seventh seed Casper Ruud and No. 8 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

Zverev earned a 6-2, 6-4 win against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, Ruud bested Frenchman Luca Van Assche 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-1 and Hurkacz edged Kazakhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-3.

Other seeded winners included No. 22 Nicolas Jarry of Chile, No. 25 Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, No. 27 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain and No. 30 Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.

However, there were a number of upsets on Saturday, among them being Canadian Denis Shapovalov’s 6-2, 6-4 sweep of 10th-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Shapovalov is playing on a protected ranking.

Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild ousted No. 12 seed Taylor Fritz of the United States, wild card Martin Damm sank No. 13 seed Tommy Paul in an all-American matchup, and Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi cruised past No. 17 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan, 6-4, 6-1.

Australian Christopher O’Connell, Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Dominik Koepfer of Germany also prevailed.

Six more matches were scheduled for later Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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