Defending champion Daniil Medvedev started his campaign at the Mallorca Championships with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Aslan Karatsev on Wednesday.
Medvedev converted a neck-and-neck lead late in the set at the lone breakpoint of the second set, then dominated the decider as Karatsev struggled with a clear leg problem.
“It was tough to play in the rhythm. It felt like there were several points, whoever managed to put the ball on the court was going to win the point,” Medvedev said.
“It was not easy but I am happy to win because that is the most important thing,” he said.
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After dropping serve in the middle of the opening set at the first break point of the match, Medvedev threatened an immediate break back but failed to score on four occasions. Instead, his comeback bid had to wait for set two.
Karatsev kept up the pressure by getting 30/30 or deuce in the middle of the second in three straight return games, but Medvedev’s strong serving kept him in front until the crucial break in the eighth game.
Medvedev made only 48 percent of his first serve in the opening set, but improved to 68 percent and 69 percent in the final two sets as he took control of the match. The 26-year-old dropped just one set in his 2021 Mallorca title race and could win his first title of the 2022 season with a successful repeat.
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Medvedev will now face fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who moved on after Nick Kyrgios withdrew from injury. The World No. 1 earned his first win against the Spaniard in his fourth ATP head-to-head meeting in Halle last week.
“He’s a great player… it’s really hard to beat him all the time. He’s a top player and hopefully we can have a good match.”
Meanwhile, World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Ilya Ivashka 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. He did not face a breakpoint in his victory of one hour, 23 minutes.
Tsitsipas dominated behind his first serve, losing just five points in the match behind his first delivery (29/34). The 2019 ATP Finals champion also defended his second serve, claiming 74 percentage points, largely due to his aggressive, first-strike tennis.
The Greek has now won all three of his ATP head-to-head bouts against Ivashka this year, with matches coming on hard, clay and grass courts respectively.
The 23-year-old will next face American Marcos Giron, who defeated compatriot Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. Notably, Tsitsipas defeated Giron 6-3, 6-4 in this year’s Acapulco quarterfinals.
“He has the game for the grass court, I’ve played him before. I’m looking forward to a fight,” Tsitsipas said.
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