The weather could not dampen the spirits of Daniil Medvedev as he reached the fourth round of the French Open for the first time on Friday.

The Russian was in good form as he beat Reilly Opelka 6-4 6-2 6-4 amid rainy conditions in the French capital.

The second seed, who will meet clay-court specialist Cristian Garin next, hit 28 winners to 16 unforced errors in a dominant display on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

It was a display to instil some confidence into Medvedev as he chases the world number-one spot, which he will claim if he reaches the final and Novak Djokovic does not.

"Clay at Roland Garros feels great this year," he said. "As I said after the first round [against Alexander Bublik], now I know that to beat me, the guys have to play well. I am definitely happy with my game and my return today, because I actually hit more aces than him. That's a great achievement.

"I think a little bit [the] rainy conditions, wet, heavy court – which I totally hate on clay – helped me today. In these conditions, even guessing one side, I could still get back to another side if I saw the serve coming the other way."

ZVEREV DIGS DEEP TO PROGRESS

Alexander Zverev joined Medvedev in the last 16, the sixth seed saving three set points in the second set against Laslo Djere before taking nine of the next 11 games to ease to a 6-2 7-5 6-2 win.

"I was down 3-5, 40-0 on his serve and you don't always come back from that score," said Zverev, who will now meet three-time quarter-finalist Kei Nishikori. "He played a fantastic match, he is playing great on this surface so I knew I had to play much, much better than the first two rounds and I did that today."

Twelfth seed Pablo Carreno Busta was also a straight-sets winner, seeing off Steve Johnson to set up a meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas, who survived a stern examination by John Isner.

Having lost the first set to the big-serving American, Tsitsipas recovered to win 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 at close to midnight local time to extend his winning streak on clay to seven matches.

FOGNINI STUNNED, FOKI EDGES FIVE-SET EPIC

Federico Delbonis stunned 27th seed Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-1 6-3. He will take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who came through a brutal five-set contest with Casper Ruud that lasted more than four and a half hours.

"I think this match represents Roland Garros," said the man known as 'Foki' to his fans. "This match was very tough. He played unbelievable.

"In the fifth set, we were in [a] battle every game. Every game we wanted to win [and] to break the serve of the other guy. It was, with all [the] emotions inside [and] with all the crowd singing your name, unbelievable!"

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been delighted with the backing he has received at the French Open as he continues his quest to better last year's semi-final run.

The 22-year-old has previously spoke of his fondness for Roland Garros, and he earned a tour-leading 35th win of the season against Pedro Martinez on Wednesday.

It finished 6-3 6-4 6-3 in the second round in favour of the fifth seed, who is yet to lose a set at this year's second grand slam.

Tsitsipas is leading the FedEX ATP Race to Turin, and John Isner stands in his way of a fourth-round place.

"I really like playing in Paris," said Tsitsipas, who won titles in Monte Carlo and Lyon before heading to Roland Garros.

"I feel like the fans have embraced me and made me one of them. So, I'm really glad my tennis is there, my performance is there, and I'm able to deliver not just good tennis but also create a good atmosphere on this court."

Tsitsipas, who at one point dropped his racket while serving, did have to work for his win, though. Martinez broke him in the first and second sets, and the Greek was then denied the opportunity to serve out the win in the third.

Martinez's stand did not last much longer – Tsitsipas' backhand winner in the following game sealing the win.

"I've had good weeks this year, I've had some good results, but, of course, I feel like there's always better," the world number five added.

"I don't see my performance so far as super-excellent and outstanding, but I've been consistent and that's very important."

MEDVEDEV BITES BACK

Daniil Medvedev might finally have settled into life at Roland Garros. The second seed had a dismal record in the French Open heading into this year's grand slam, but despite a shaky start on Wednesday, he defeated Tommy Paul 3-6 6-1 6-4 6-3 to claim a place in round three.

Though Paul made the most of a shaky opening set from Medvedev, the Russian rallied in set two and kept the momentum going, winning 80 per cent of his first-serve points in a victory which took two hours and 18 minutes to round off, and also included eight breaks of serve from the world number two.

Next up is Reilly Opelka, who saw off Jaume Munar. The American has a losing 2-1 head-to-head record against Medvedev, though this is the first time they will meet on clay.

There was a shock elsewhere, as 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut was dumped out by Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.

ZVEREV GETS SNAPPY AFTER RAGGED DISPLAY

World number six Alexander Zverev was made to work for his place in round three, as he overcame Roman Safiullin 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (7-1).

Zverev trailed in both the second and third sets, as the 24-year-old needed two tie-breaks to beat the qualifier.

"Obviously, I don't do it on purpose," Zverev said. "I don't go into the match and say, 'Okay, my tactic is I'm going to be a break down, I'm going to fight back and come back'.

"That's not how it works. I'm a break down most of the time because I play unfocused games or the opponent plays well."

Zverev will play Laslo Djere in round three, and despite his frustration after the match, the German has moved onto 20 wins for the season, which already includes titles in Acapulco and Madrid.

Djere beat fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, and if Zverev should keep winning, he may well face a quarter-final against Casper Ruud, the promising Norwegian player who beat Kamil Majchrzak 6-3 6-2 6-4 to make it to the third round at Roland Garros for a third straight season.

Standing in the way of Ruud and the last eight is Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who went the distance to defeat Botic Van De Zandschulp.

Roger Federer is enjoying the "whole rhythm thing" of playing at a grand slam again but admits he has no idea what he is capable of achieving at the French Open.

The Swiss looked sharp in his first-round match on Monday against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, posting a 6-2 6-4 6-3 win – coming through his first match at a major since the 2020 Australian Open and subsequent knee surgery.

It was partly his prowess but perhaps also the shortcomings of Istomin's performance that allowed 2009 champion Federer to put on a show on Court Philippe Chatrier, setting up a clash with a familiar foe in Marin Cilic next.

Federer and Cilic will be going head to head for an 11th time – Federer leads the series 9-1 – and for the first time since the 2018 Australian Open final, which went the way of Basle's 20-time grand slam winner in five sets.

It will be their sixth clash in a slam and at the earliest stage they have encountered each other at a major, with those past tussles also including the 2017 Wimbledon final, when an injury-hampered Cilic lost in straight sets.

Federer spoke after beating Istomin of how it is difficult to gauge what he might go on to manage at Roland Garros.

"In a way, I like this situation, that I don't know what's next, how my next match will be. I don't even know who I play, to be honest," Federer said.

"I take it round by round, match by match. I think it's going to help me, with the way I go about it. I'm very happy I won today. It gives me a chance again to test myself on Thursday, I believe. I don't know when I'm playing.

"So see how I feel tomorrow morning. Just all these things going through practice, coming to the site, seeing people, just this whole rhythm thing.

"It's nice to be back in it."

Federer is in Paris without his family due to COVID-19 restrictions and worries it will be the same story at Wimbledon.

But he added: "We signed up for it. I didn't do rehab to then sit at home again. There's a lot to look forward to."

MEDVEDEV WINS AT LAST

Daniil Medvedev's status as the second seed in Paris was the factor that made it possible for Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to be drawn in the same half of the draw, which is what transpired.

There is an element of farce about Medvedev being seeded above 13-time Roland Garros champion Nadal, because the Russian has gone out in the first round in each of his previous visits to the clay-court slam.

However, on Monday, the world number two made a breakthrough, winning well in a match where he was expected to run into trouble as he earned a 6-3 6-3 7-5 victory over Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik.

"It doesn't feel different than the Australian Open for me coming into this tournament. Now when I'm coming to these big tournaments feeling like this, I know I'm capable of doing big things," Medvedev said.

"If I lose here in Roland Garros it's probably going to be because my opponent will play really good."

NEXTGEN MAKE EARLY IMPACT

David Goffin, the Belgian 13th seed, lost 6-0 7-5 7-6 (7-3) to 19-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, and it was a day when the sight of 39-year-old Federer turning on the style was balanced by the inspiring sight of the next generation showing their potential.

Musetti's fellow Italian Jannik Sinner is also 19 and is the 18th seed, showing on Monday he has the fight to come through tough battles, rallying from two sets to one down to beat experienced French player Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-1 4-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-4.

It was the first time Sinner had won a deciding set in a best-of-five match.

Sinner, Musetti and Spain's Carlos Alcaraz could all be major factors at Roland Garros in future years.

Alcaraz, who turned 18 in early May, followed up his run through qualifying and to the second round of the Australian Open by doing the same in the French capital.

He dropped only 11 games in winning three best-of-three-set qualifiers last week and was too strong for his 24-year-old compatriot Bernabe Zapata Miralles, snatching a 6-3 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) win for a first senior win at Roland Garros.

"I think the mental game is really, really important in this kind of matches," Alcaraz said. "You have to be focused and calm all the match, like three hours and 10 minutes.

"It's really important and not easy to do. In the match I trusted a lot in my physical side. I could play really, really good game during the whole match."

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes – a statement largely true until Rafael Nadal emerged on the scene and made the French Open his own.

Since breaking through for his first Roland Garros triumph in 2005, only three other men – Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic – have managed to interrupt Nadal's dominance in Paris.

Nadal has won 13 French Open men's singles titles, seven more than any other player in the Open era (Bjorn Borg, six) heading into this year's edition.

Despite being seeded third, it would take a brave person to bet against defending champion Nadal adding to his mammoth and unprecedented haul in the French capital, where the second grand slam of the year gets underway on Sunday.

On the women's side, defending champion Iga Swiatek is looking to follow in the footsteps of Belgian great Justine Henin.

As all eyes shift to Court Philippe Chatrier and its surroundings, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind this year's slam, using Opta data.

 

The 'King of Clay'

Nadal will open his title defence against Australian Alexei Popyrin. Since 2000, only Nadal (13) and Gustavo Kuerten (two) have won the French Open more than once.

The 34-year-old swept aside world number one Djokovic in straight sets last year for his fourth consecutive French Open crown and 20th slam trophy, equalling Roger Federer's all-time record. Nadal maintained his stranglehold on the major, having not dropped a set throughout the fortnight. Only three players have previously won the French Open without losing a single set: Ilie Nastase in 1973, Bjorn Borg in 1978 and 1980 and Nadal in 2008, 2010, 2017 and 2020.

Nadal is the only player to have won the same slam more than 10 times. He has lost just two of the 102 matches played in Paris (excluding walkovers), losing to Robin Soderling in the 2009 fourth round and Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals, while has won each of the last 30.

The record for most slam titles on the men's circuit will also be up for grabs, with Nadal and the returning Federer seeking to snap their tie.

In the last 25 years, the number one seed has won the French Open on only five occasions – Nadal (2018, 2014 and 2011), Djokovic (2016) and Kuerten (2001). It does not bode well for top seed and 18-time major champion Djokovic, who is looking to close the gap on foes Nadal and Federer.

Australian Open champion Djokovic, who will face Tennys Sandgren in the first round, has reached the final in seven of the last 10 slams he contested, claiming six titles. However, the Serbian star has only featured in five French Open deciders (W1 L4) – fewer than in any of the other three major tournaments.

 

Declining Federer, Nadal challengers?

The French Open will be a welcome sight for tennis fans as Swiss great Federer, who has not played a slam since the 2020 Australian Open due to his troublesome knee and the coronavirus pandemic, makes his comeback.

Seeded eighth ahead of his opener against Denis Istomin, 2009 French Open champion Federer has only contested nine slam finals over the last 10 years (W4 L5) after reaching that stage in 22 major events in the previous decade (W16 L6). Since the beginning of 2016, the 39-year-old has only taken part in one French Open, in 2019, where he reached the semi-finals.

Daniil Medvedev has been flirting with a breakthrough slam triumph. The second seed is a finalist at the Australian Open (2021) and US Open (2019). Medvedev has reached the semi-finals in two of his most recent three appearances at a grand slam after going further than the fourth round in only one of his previous 13 major tournaments. However, the Russian has lost in the first round in each of his four Roland Garros appearances.

US Open champion and fourth seed Dominic Thiem has played two finals at Roland Garros (2018 and 2019) – more than in any other slam – but lost both of them against Nadal. He has won 80 per cent of his games at the French Open, his best win rate in any of the four majors.

Andrey Rublev is the only player to have taken part in the quarter-finals during each of the past three grand slams, including the 2020 French Open. But the seventh seed – who fired down 53 aces at Roland Garros last year, at least 14 more than any other player – is yet to progress further than that round.

Aslan Karatsev enjoyed a fairy-tale run at Melbourne Park in February, the Russian qualifier making it all the way to the semi-finals. Only one qualifier has reached the semi-final stage at the French Open: Filip Dewulf in 1997.

 

Iga in 14-year first?

Having never progressed beyond the fourth round of a major, Polish teenager Swiatek broke through for her maiden slam title via the French Open last year, upstaging Sofia Kenin.

The 19-year-old Swiatek – who will return as the eighth seed in her defence, starting against Kaja Juvan – could become the first woman to win consecutive titles at Roland Garros since Henin in 2005-2007 (three in a row). Only three players have won multiple titles in the women's tournament at the French Open in the 21st century: Henin (four), Serena Williams (three) and Maria Sharapova (two).

Swiatek could claim the French Open and Rome's Internazionali d'Italia in the same campaign. Only Serena Williams (2002 and 2013), Sharapova (2012), Monica Seles (1990), Steffi Graf (1987) and Chris Evert (1974, 1975 and 1980) have achieved the feat previously.

Swiatek celebrated slam glory in the absence of world number one and defending champion Ash Barty in 2020. No player has won more games on clay this season than Australian top seed Barty and Veronika Kudermetova (both 13).

Only Barty (three) has won more titles than third seed Aryna Sabalenka (two) in 2021 – the Belarusian is one of two players currently ranked in the top 20 in the WTA yet to reach a major quarter-final, alongside Maria Sakkari.

In a field also including four-time slam champion and reigning Australian Open winner Naomi Osaka – the second seed – Sabalenka could become only the third woman to win the Madrid Open and French Open in the same season after Serena Williams in 2013 and Sharapova in 2014.

As for fourth seed Kenin, she could be just the fourth American player to reach back-to-back Roland Garros finals, after Serena Williams (2015-16), Martina Navratilova (1984-1987) and Evert (1973-1975, 1979-80 and 1983-1986).

 

All eyes on Serena

The queen of WTA tennis for so long, Serena Williams is one slam success away from matching Margaret Court's record of 24 major singles championships. But the 39-year-old has been stuck on 23 since reigning supreme at the Australian Open in 2017.

While the French clay is not one of her favourite surfaces, it could be the scene of a remarkable achievement following a lengthy wait.

Roland Garros is where Williams has the lowest winning percentage (84 per cent) and where she won the fewest titles (three, at least half as many as the other slams).

Williams won her maiden French Open in 2002 and could hoist the trophy aloft 19 years after her first success in Paris. The longest span between two majors wins for a single player in the Open era is already held by Williams (15 years between 1999 and 2014 at the US Open).

Irina-Camelia Begu awaits the seventh seed in the first round.

Rafael Nadal defeated home favourite Jannik Sinner at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, but Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the competition on Wednesday.

Rising star Sinner gave Nadal a stern test, but the veteran emerged triumphant with a 7-5 6-4 triumph in two hours and 12 minutes.

Nadal will face Denis Shapovalov – who also beat an Italian in the shape of Stefano Travaglia – in the last 16.

The hard-fought victory is a welcome one for Nadal after he lost to Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last time out.

However, there was a big star who fell with world number two Medvedev, who continues to struggle on clay, eliminated by his compatriot Aslan Karatsev.

Karatsev impressively triumphed 6-2 6-4 in 78 minutes, winning 26 of his 29 first-serve points and not being broken in the match.

"I'm super happy," said Karatsev, who also beat world number one Novak Djokovic last month and will face Reilly Opelka next. 

"It was a really tough match. Against Medvedev you never know, he's a big server. It's tough to return, but I managed it well."

Dominic Thiem almost went the same way as Medvedev, coming within two points of going out in his first match in Rome, which has also happened in his previous two appearances.

However, the Austrian battled back to defeat Marton Fucsovics 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-0 in a match lasting two hours and 33 minutes, booking a last-16 clash with Lorenzo Sonego.

"It was such a close match, especially in the second set,” said Thiem, a semi-finalist in Madrid last week.

"I knew he'd be a super-tough opponent, particularly coming from different conditions in Madrid. I was fighting all the match and stayed in there. 

"At the end, I got the reward for fighting. I had difficulties with my timing and my serve. 

"I have to hurt my opponent more with my shots. I still won a great match and I will try to improve."

There were smoother victories for Madrid champion Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien in a 6-2 6-2 success, while Tsitsipas saw off Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2.

Andrey Rublev defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in three sets, while Matteo Berrettini also progressed, beating John Millman in straight sets to book a clash with Tsitsipas which looks like the pick of the last-16 draw.

Rafael Nadal saw off Alexei Popyrin to reach the Madrid Open quarter-finals on a day that saw Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas suffer surprise defeats.

World number two Nadal, chasing a record-extending sixth title on home soil, advanced 6-3 6-3 in a time of one hour and two minutes on Thursday.

Popyrin, playing in his first last-16 match at a Masters 1000 event, broke Nadal in the sixth game of the opening set but the Spaniard otherwise looked comfortable.

Nadal converted four of his six break points to advance through to the last eight for a 15th time, where Alexander Zverev awaits.

"It was difficult," Nadal said in his on-court interview. "The court today was slippery, it was very fast, very dry conditions. The ball was flying a lot. The beginning was super tough. 

"He was hitting every ball and hitting the spots. I'm happy with the victory. It was an important victory, he came here playing well. Every match is tough."

Zverev, who won the competition in 2018, beat British number one Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to set up a meeting with Nadal

However, second and fourth seeds Medvedev and Tsitsipas saw their participation come to an end at the hands of Cristian Garin and Casper Ruud respectively.

Medvedev, who is still yet to reach the quarters in Madrid, lost the only break of serve in the third game of the opening set but recovered by taking the second set in a tie-break.

Garin dominated the deciding set, the world number 25 breaking Medvedev twice and, after a short delay to fix a broken net, advanced 6-4 6-7 (7-2) 6-1.

Tsitsipas, who held championship point against Nadal in the Barcelona Open final, failed to break Ruud on a single occasion as he fell 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

Alexander Bublik is next up for Ruud after beating Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-3, while Matteo Berrettini - 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 winner against Federico Delbonis - will meet Garin.

Also vying for a place in the semi-finals are John Isner and Dominic Thiem, who are set to face off after beating sixth seed Andrey Rublev and Alex de Minaur respectively.

Rafael Nadal cruised to victory over birthday boy Carlos Alcaraz to start his Madrid Open campaign in impressive fashion.

The world number two moved into the last 16 with a 6-1 6-2 victory on Wednesday.

After being knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters by Andrey Rublev in the last eight, Nadal bounced back to win the Barcelona Open last month and continued his momentum in this round-of-32 clash.

As wildcard Alcaraz turned 18, the spectators sang happy birthday to him but he could not mark the occasion with a famous result against his idol, with Nadal broken just once on his way to a 78-minute victory.

Five-time tournament winner Nadal converted five of his seven break points in a ruthless showing, with Real Madrid greats Iker Casillas and Raul in the crowd to watch him.

Nadal will play Alexei Popyrin, a straight-sets winner against rising star Jannik Sinner, in the next round.

Elsewhere, second seed Daniil Medvedev came from behind to defeat home hope Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6 6-4 6-2. It was his first win in seven ATP Tour matches on clay.

"I am happy with the win," said the Russian.

"The first set wasn't easy and I thought it was going to be where I had another 25 break points and I wouldn't win. 

"I finally played quite well and did well in the third set. Madrid is a little faster than other clay tournaments, so it is better for my game."

The win means Medvedev has an 18-3 record this season and faces Chile's Cristian Garin next.

Medvedev's compatriot Aslan Karatsev beat Diego Schwartzman 2-6 6-4 6-1, having also defeated the French Open semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year.

In-form Karatsev will face Alexander Bublik next after his fourth top-10 win of the year.

Fifth seed Alexander Zverev said he was "clinical" in dispatching Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2 in just 74 minutes, while fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Benoit Paire later on Wednesday.

World number two Daniil Medvedev has pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters after returning a positive coronavirus test.

The Russian, who was given a bye for the first round, went into isolation after returning a positive test on Monday.

"It's a big disappointment not to play in Monte Carlo," he said in a statement. "My focus is now on recovery and I look forward to getting back out on Tour as soon and as safely as possible."

Medvedev, who lost the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic in January, had been practising with 11-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal on Monday.

The 25-year-old last played at the Miami Open at the end of March, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Top seed Daniil Medvedev powered his way into the Miami Open quarter-finals, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev on Tuesday.

Medvedev won in straight sets against unseeded American Frances Tiafoe, hitting 24 winners.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas won in straight sets against 24th seed Lorenzo Sonego, although the second went to a tie-break which the Greek dominated.

World number eight Andrey Rublev got past Marin Cilic in straight sets to book his last-eight spot.

Fifth seed Diego Schwartzman was the major casualty on Tuesday, losing to unseeded American Sebastian Korda in three sets. Seeds Josh Isner, Milos Raonic and Taylor Fritz also exited.

 

TOP SEED EASES INTO LAST EIGHT

World number two Medvedev was too good for Tiafoe in a 6-4 6-3 victory.

Medvedev improved his 2021 record to 17-2, sending down 11 aces with a dominant first-serve display while taking three of his four break points.

The 2021 Australian Open runner-up will meet seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in his maiden Miami Open quarter-finals appearance.

"It was definitely a tough match," the Russian said in his post-match on-court interview. "I am just looking forward to tomorrow. Roberto is a hell of a player.

"I feel like sometimes, when I have practised with him and played against him, that his ranking should be higher. There are reasons why it is not and I am going to try to do something with it tomorrow."

STEFANOS SIZZLES PAST SONEGO

Tsitsipas kept up his good form after making last month's Australian Open semi-finals, by booking his first Miami Open quarter-final appearance.

The Greek world number five defeated Sonego 6-2 7-6 (7-2) with a clinical performance to keep alive his dream of a maiden ATP Masters title.

Tsitsipas won in just over an hour and a half, proving too good on serve, having not offered up one break point and winning 89 per cent of first-serve points.

He was also too good with his return for the Italian, winning 35 per cent of the points on Sonego's serve.

The Greek will take on Polish 26th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight, after he knocked out 12th seed Raonic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

 

FIFTH SEED TOPPLED BY KORDA

World number nine Schwartzman was knocked out in three sets by Korda 6-3 4-6 7-5 as he continues his super run.

Florida resident Korda, 20, reached his maiden ATP 1000 quarter-final, showing fight after the Argentinian raised his game in the second set, winning after an early break in the last.

Rublev made light work of former US Open champion Marin Cilic, triumphing 6-4 6-4.

Bautista Agut got past 18th seed Isner 6-3 4-6 7-6 (9-7), while Jannik Sinner defeated Alexander Zverev's conqueror Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 6-2.

Alexander Bublik, seeded 32nd, sent down 23 aces as he beat Taylor Fritz 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.

 

Russian star Daniil Medvedev overcame painful cramps and Alexei Popyrin to battle his way into the Miami Open round of 16.

Medvedev looked in all sorts of trouble against the Australian, but the world number two and top seed survived at the ATP 1000 tournament on Sunday.

Canadian sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime was sent packing by former champion John Isner in Miami.

 

MEDVEDEV ADVANCES… SOMEHOW

Australian Open and US Open runner-up Medvedev could barely walk during his gruelling three-set win against Popyrin.

Medvedev let three match points slip away in the second set, having led 5-2, before cramp set in.

In humid conditions, Medvedev was forced to rely on his serve as he limped around the court.

"Winning a Grand Slam final in straight sets doesn't feel the way I felt after the match point today," he said. "A match to remember for sure."

"I felt like my legs were not following me anymore," Medvedev said. "The only thing I was thinking about is not to fall down, because if you fall down, I don't think I would be able to get up. There were a few moments I just wanted to lay down and say, 'OK, it's over.' That's the thing I couldn't accept myself to do."

Awaiting Medvedev is Frances Tiafoe after he outlasted 16th seed Dusan Lajovic 1-6 7-5 6-3.

 

AUGER-ALIASSIME TOPPLED

A new year, but same result for 11th seed Auger-Aliassime, who was beaten 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) by Isner.

Isner defeated Auger-Aliassime en route to the championship match in Miami two years ago and the big-serving American repeated the feat.

The only former Miami champion in this year's field, Isner remains unbeaten in tie-breaks at Hard Rock Stadium, winning all 11 since the tournament relocated in 2019.

"It was a big test for me. There's probably not many places in the world where I like my chances against Felix," Isner said. "I'm kind of lucky to play him here in Miami, where I like it a lot. If I were to play him on clay somewhere in Europe, it'd probably be a different story."

Next up is seventh seed Roberto Bautista-Agut, who beat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Elsewhere, Jannik Sinner, Taylor Fritz, Emil Ruusuvuori and Alexander Bublik also advanced.

Third seed Alexander Zverev was sensationally dumped out of the Miami Open second round as Finnish 21-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori claimed his second top 10 win of his career.

Russuvuori bounced back after losing the first set, changing his tactics and overwhelming the German on Friday to set up a third round meeting with Mikael Ymer.

Ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov also bowed out, going down to Briton Cameron Norrie, while eighth seed David Goffin lost to James Duckworth.

World number two and top seed Daniil Medvedev eased past Lu Yen-hsun, while 11th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, Karen Khachanov and John Isner all progressed.

 

TURNAROUND STUNS THIRD SEED

Zverev may have won last week's Mexican Open and the opening set 6-1 against Ruusuvuori but the tables turned quickly as the Finn produced one of the best displays of his career to date.

The 83rd ranked Finn moved regularly to the net and was aggressive in his approach, leaving Zverev rattled before winning 1-6 6-3 6-1 in a stunning momentum shift.

"I don't even know myself," Ruusuvuori said in his on-court interview when asked how he turned the match around.

"I wasn't feeling very comfortable in the first set and I was making a lot of unforced errors but slowly in the second I was starting to feel a bit better... Of course, it's one of the biggest wins in my career so it feels good."

He'll next face Ymer who knocked out 27th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

 

NINTH SEED BUNDLED OUT

Former world number three Dimitrov was ousted from the Miami Open on Friday, losing 7-5 7-5 to 56th ranked Norrie.

The Bulgarian took an early break and served for the first set at 5-3 but Norrie showed his mettle to break back twice to take the opener.

Norrie sent down 10 aces and was strong on serve throughout, claiming a significant win for his burgeoning career.

“It’s huge,” Norrie said. “He’s had a good start to the year. It was such a physical match at the start. He came out really fast and he set the tone at the beginning of the match. Massive one for me and I take a lot of confidence from it.”

Norrie's win sets up a third round meeting with American Taylor Fritz who beat Marcos Giron 6-2 6-2.

 

DANIIL DOMINATES, GOFFIN SHOCK

Australian Open runner-up Medvedev made light work of Lu, winning 6-2 6-2 to book a third round match with Australian 21-year-old Alexei Popyrin.

Medvedev won in less than an hour, hitting 24 winners and nine aces and making few errors in a clinical display.

Canadian 11th seed Aliassime proved too good for Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-4, setting up a third round meeting with 18th seed John Isner who got past qualifier Mackenzie McDonald.

Seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut progressed by virtue of a walkover against Lloyd Harris who had a wrist issue.

Eighth seed Goffin lost to world number 104 Duckworth 6-3 6-1 in a boilover.

Vasek Pospisil launched a stunning tirade during his three-set defeat to American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday.

The Canadian former world number 25 was docked a point for verbal abuse, subsequently conceding the first set, before a meltdown during the change of ends.

Pospisil used a profanity in reference to ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi when speaking to chair umpire Arnaud Gabas.

“[Gaudenzi was] screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players — for an hour and a half," Pospisil said to Gabas. "If you want to default me, I’ll gladly sue this whole organisation.”

He did fight back to win the second set but ultimately lost to McDonald 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Pospisil, who is nowadays ranked 67th, was joined among the first-round exits by last week's Mexican Open semi-finalist Dominik Koepfer, who went down 6-1 6-4 to wildcard Hugo Gaston as he claimed his first career Masters 1000 win.

Sam Querrey, ranked 63rd, also bowed out 6-3 6-4 to Lu Yen-hsun, who will meet world number two Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

YOUNGSTER BEATS VETERAN

Australian youngster Alexei Popyrin secured his maiden win at the Miami Open, knocking out the oldest player in the draw Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Popyrin, 21, claimed his first ATP Tour title last month in Singapore and backed that up with a strong display against the 39-year-old former top 20 Spaniard.

Recent Open 13 Marseille runner-up Pierre-Hugues Herbert got past Portugal's Pedro Sousa 6-1 6-3, while South Africa's Lloyd Harris defeated Emilio Nava 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

Frances Tiafoe won in the final match of Wednesday, coming from behind to beat Stefano Travaglia 5-7 6-4 6-2.

 

COMEBACK CAM

Brit Cameron Norrie produced a heroic final-set fightback to claim his spot in the second round, where he will face Grigor Dimitrov.

Norrie trailed 5-1 in the third set against Yoshihito Nishioka, before winning 6-1 3-6 7-5, winning the last six games to clinch victory.

The 56th-ranked Brit sent down eight aces in the victory, although he got the edge on return and converted seven of his 10 break points.

SECOND ROUND

Top seed Medvedev will face Lu on Thursday, while third seed Alexander Zverev will take on Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori.

Norrie will meet Dimitrov, while 11th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime faces Herbert and eighth seed David Goffin will take on James Duckworth.

Harris has a match-up against seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Daniil Medvedev claimed the 10th ATP Tour title of his career with a 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

Medvedev will move up to number two in the world in Monday's latest ranking, making him the first player outside of the big four of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to occupy one of the top two positions since Leyton Hewitt in 2005.

The Russian celebrated this achievement with a dogged display to down Herbert in two hours and 11 minutes, saving four of the five break points he faced.

A finalist at the Australian Open, Medvedev is now 14-2 in 2021, with the Open 13 title his sixth on indoor hard courts.

Herbert's strategy of frequently visiting the net was initially picked apart by Medvedev, who only needed one set point in the opener as he threaded a backhand winner expertly down the line.

But the Frenchman applied the pressure in set two, passing up three break points early on before impressing from the baseline to reel off five straight points and claim the breaker from 2-4 behind.

The decider was a tense affair but Herbert's errors at the net came back to undermine his efforts decisively when he served to stay in the match at 5-4.

The 29-year-old has now lost all four of his ATP Finals, while Medvedev again proved himself to be a high-quality operator on such occasions.

Daniil Medvedev reached the Open 13 final in Marseille after Matthew Ebden had to call it quits midway through their semi-final due to injury.

Before Ebden retired he made Medvedev work hard in taking the first set, with the Russian forced into saving three break points along the way.

Medvedev then broke the Australian to go 5-4 up and he looked in control from there, taking the set 6-4 and then winning the first three games of the second set prior to Ebden deciding he could go on no longer, with his opponent also 40-15 up.

Ebden had left the court for a medical timeout towards the end of the first set but never looked completely comfortable thereafter, and Medvedev saluted his opponent's efforts before turning his attentions to Sunday's final against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, grateful there will not be a home crowd to cheer on the Frenchman.

"Before this [injury] it was a close match," Medvedev said. "He was getting close to breaking me at 0-40 [in the first set], so really unfortunate to end the match like this. I knew that even with an injury I had to just continue playing, trying to win.

"You cannot give easy points just because he's injured. So, I'm really sorry for him, hopefully he can recover fast and it's nothing serious. He's a tough opponent to play, he does serve and volley, he plays [with] no rhythm, so that's why it's tough to say if I played well or not.

"But I'm looking forward for tomorrow [the final]. Luckily this time no crowd, because a final against a French guy in Marseille with a crowd would be not an easy challenge."

Herbert was in devastating form against his compatriot Ugo Humbert, clinching his 6-3 6-2 win in a little over an hour without facing a single break point.

That continued his impressive form in this tournament, having previously eliminated Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori, and he will be hoping to win his first singles title in Sunday's finale.

At the Qatar Open in Doha, Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili sealed his fourth ATP Tour title by beating Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Basilashvili's performances in Doha have exceeded expectations given he went into the tournament with just two wins in his previous 16 matches – he now adds a trophy to his stunning quarter-final scalp of Roger Federer.

Victory also ended a title drought stretching back to July 2019 when he was triumphant in Hamburg, while he has now won his last four finals having lost the previous two.

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