ATP

Top seed Medvedev tumbles to Pospisil defeat in Rotterdam

By Sports Desk February 12, 2020

Top seed Daniil Medvedev exited the Rotterdam Open with a first-round defeat to Vasek Pospisil that headlined a day of shocks.

Medvedev – the 2019 US Open finalist – was playing his first match since a five-set defeat to Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open but was unable to find the same level he produced in that thriller.

Instead, Medvedev converted just one of his six break point opportunities as Pospisil claimed a 6-4 6-3 victory on Wednesday.

Sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut was also on the receiving end of a surprise result, compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta winning 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-4) in the second round.

With Medvedev and Bautista Agut out of the draw, Felix Auger-Aliassime can afford to harbour greater hope of winning his first ATP singles title after he saw off Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-2.

Though Auger-Aliassime is a place higher in the rankings than Dimitrov at 21st in the world, some may have expected the Bulgarian's greater experience to win out.

However, it was the 19-year-old Canadian who controlled matters, enjoying great success against the second serve of Dimitrov, who committed 27 unforced errors as Auger-Aliassime progressed to the quarter-finals.

Daniel Evans will join him in the last eight after the Briton defied the odds to come from a set down and defeat Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Gael Monfils, David Goffin and Gilles Simon all sealed first-round wins, though the latter pair did so in unconvincing fashion.

While third seed Monfils eased past Joao Sousa 6-3 6-2, fourth seed Goffin had to come from behind to knock out Robin Haase 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and Simon survived a second-set blip in a 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-3 win over Mikhail Kukushkin.

Jannik Sinner is also through to round two, the 18-year-old given a walkover after Radu Albot withdrew with a shoulder injury.

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    Garbine Muguruza made clear she is "fighting for trophies" on the WTA Tour after knocking out defending champion Aryna Sabalenka at the Qatar Open. 

    Muguruza prevailed in a high-quality contest that required a third set to decide the outcome, the world number 16 and two-time grand slam champion eventually triumphing 6-2 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 after two hours, 18 minutes on court. 

    Sabalenka had won their only previous meeting but the third seed saw her hopes of retaining the trophy dashed, not helped by only managing to convert four of the 13 break-point opportunities she created in the match. 

    Muguruza – who matched 41 winners with the same number of unforced errors – finished in fine style, claiming the final four games in a row to set up a meeting with Maria Sakkari, who defeated Madison Keys in straight sets. 

    "I'm very motivated to play top players," Muguruza said in her post-match press conference, according to the WTA Tour's website. "Like everybody, I worked hard. I'm fighting for trophies, to play well in big tournaments, in good tournaments. 

    "Today I was facing a top player, and I knew I have to go out there with a big, fighting spirit, and be strong to be able to win against these tough opponents." 

    While the 2020 winner is no longer involved, former champions Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova both made it beyond the second round with straight-sets wins in Wednesday's action. 

    Azarenka, who claimed the title in 2012 and then returned to successfully retain it a year later, saw off qualifier Laura Siegemund 6-4 6-2. 

    Kvitova, meanwhile, eased past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The fourth seed went all the way in 2018 and is now into the last eight this year – a 6-1 6-3 result paving the way for a clash with Anett Kontaveit.

    Top seed Elina Svitolina is also through – and will face Azarenka next – after needing little over an hour to defeat Misaki Doi 6-1 6-2.

    Karolina Pliskova, the second seed, found life far tougher against Ons Jabeur however, eventually coming out on top 6-4 4-6 7-5 in a thriller.

    Meanwhile, at the Lyon Open, second seed Fiona Ferro progressed to the last eight on home soil after opponent Tereza Martincova was forced to retire when 4-1 down in the second set, having already lost the opener too.

    Alize Cornet is another French favourite hoping to make home advantage tell in the tournament; the fifth seed rallied from a set down to beat compatriot Clara Burel 1-6 6-1 6-3. 

  • Medvedev and Zverev fall at the first hurdle as Murray succumbs to Rublev Medvedev and Zverev fall at the first hurdle as Murray succumbs to Rublev

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    Dusan Lajovic put in an impressive display as he registered a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victory over Medvedev. 

    A run to the Rotterdam final would have moved Medvedev up to world number two, yet the Australian Open runner-up was well shy of his best. 

    The Russian led by a break in the first set, only for Lajovic to hit back to square things up at 3-3, with the Serbian winning the tie-break when Medvedev double-faulted. 

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    Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas passed his first-round test by scoring a narrow win over a player that beat Murray in Montpellier last week – the second seed and world number six overcoming Belarusian Egor Gerasimov 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

    The tournament lost a three-time grand slam champion when Stan Wawrinka was edged out 6-4 7-5 by Russian Karen Khachanov in a tough first-round matchup for the Swiss, who sits just one place above the Russian at number 20 in the world rankings.

    Alex de Minaur beat fellow Australian John Millman 6-1 6-4, while top seed Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev begins his challenge on Wednesday when he tackles Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

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