Daniil Medvedev looks to continue establishing himself as a long term legitimate slam contender on Saturday night, facing a home favourite in youngster Alexei Popyrin for a spot in round four. The Russian is heavily favoured to win this one but a fourth round with either John Isner or former Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka could prove tough for him if they bring their best.
Popyrin made his name at this tournament last year, beating Dominic Thiem in round two before being edged in a thriller with Lucas Pouille in round three. He stayed around the top 100 for most of the year and his run here should ensure he doesn’t fall too far, if at all. He was the beneficiary of a Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retirement in round one before cruising to victory against Jaume Munar in the second.
Medvedev hit 19 aces in a comfortable win over Pedro Martinez but does feel there is still room to get better after the 7-5 6-1 6-3 win. “I think there are still some things to improve. I think I could be more aggressive [in a] few moments of the match,” Medvedev said. “Of course, when you win three sets, you don’t want to discuss your level too much. Happy with the win, happy with the win in three sets without a tie-break finally.”
“I nothing to lose at all, he’s one of the best players in the world. It’s going to be a great challenge for me. I’m really looking forward to it.” Popyrin said. Fearlessness might help the young Australian surge for a set or two but when it comes to going the distance, there can only be one winner and that has to be the Russian who will be eager to get closer that semi final and potential revenge on Rafael Nadal. The Russian won in four at Wimbledon and a similar result here would not be a surprise.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in four sets