Medvedev starts with serenity

Daniil Medvedev (5th in the world), finalist in Indian Wells, made a successful entry into the Miami tournament on Saturday, where Elena Rybakina, in search of the “Sunshine Double” since her triumph in California, narrowly avoided taking the door.

Without forcing or ever being worried, the 27-year-old Russian unceremoniously dismissed 6-1, 6-2 the Spaniard Roberto Carballes (84th), whom he had already beaten for the first time in 2021 in the 2nd round of the Open from Australia.

Dominant, he managed 18 winning shots against 5 for his opponent. Realistically, he converted the four break points he got, for a health walk that lasted just over an hour.

“I’m happy with this first match, it was a solid performance”, welcomed the winner of the US Open 2021, who also managed a lot of amortizations, seeming to learn some lessons from his first defeat in twenty matches, conceded against Carlos Alcaraz in the final of Indian Wells, last Sunday.

“After that encounter, I thought we should use that shot more,” Medvedev said. “I’ve always liked drop shots, but it’s not a weapon I’m going to use 50 times a game. You have to have confidence in that shot and today it worked pretty well.”

– Hurkacz miraculously –

The Russian, who won three titles in a row in February in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai, should not have too much trouble in the next round against the Slovak Alex Molcan (56th).

Stefanos Tsitsipas (3rd), his highest ranked rival in his part of the table, took advantage of the package from Frenchman Richard Gasquet (40th), injured in one foot. The Greek, who says he is diminished by a painful shoulder, will therefore start his tournament against the Chilean Cristian Garin (82nd).

Hubert Hurkacz (9th), winner in 2021 then semi-finalist last year, had all the trouble in the world to overcome, in three tie-breaks, 6-7 (10/12), 7-6 (9/7 ), 7-6 (8/6), Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis (94th).

The Pole had to erase five match points, before having the last word after 3:30 of an intense fight. He will cross paths with Frenchman Adrian Mannarino (62nd).

Earlier, the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (6th) had to work to push back 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (10/8) the Brazilian Thiago Monteiro (81st). He will face Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo (31st).

Among the women, it took little for Elena Rybakina (7th) to disappear from the tournament, of which she is the favorite with Aryna Sabalenka, since the package of Iga Swiatek.

She indeed had to erase a match point, before winning 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 at the expense of Paula Badosa (29th).

– “Rough battle” –

The Spaniard, who only leads 4-3 in their confrontations, was indeed very close to finishing at 5-4 40-30 to her advantage, in the second set. But the Kazakhstani didn’t flinch when she landed a winning shot, before breaking her rival and reversing the balance of power.

“I didn’t start the match well, but eventually I regained my energy and started to move around the court better. It was a really tough battle. I’m glad I was able to get out of it,” Rybakina commented.

Champion at Wimbledon last year, she will try to obtain an 11th success in a row against the Belgian Elise Mertens (39th).

Jessica Pegula (3rd) qualified without a problem, beating 6-1, 7-6 (7/0) Danielle Collins (30th). The 29-year-old American, semi-finalist last year, will have to be wary of the Polish Magda Linette (19th) who eliminated 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-4 the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka ( 16th), triple winner of the event.

Rybakina, Pegula and Aryna Sabalenka (2nd) are the only three representatives of the top 10 still in contention, as Coco Gauff was eliminated by Russian Anastasia Potapova 6-7 (8/10), 7-5, 6-2.

The Russian (26th), who trailed 5-3 in the second set, before reversing the situation, will face the Chinese Zheng Qinwen (23rd).

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