Seen as the next most likely winner after the top 2 on the men’s side, Daniil Medvedev will seek to make a statement in the early rounds of the Australian Open. He will play Pedro Martinez in what should be a fairly routine match on paper.
Martinez won his opener against Dominik Koepfer, picking up a surprisingly ease win over the German to carry on his momentum from qualifiying. The majority of Martinez’ matches were on clay last year, something that proved worthwhile for him as it resulted in a career high and helped him take part in his first slam main draw in Paris with this one being the second.
Medvedev came through a tricky clash with Frances Tiafoe in four sets, seeing off the American in four sets. After the pair split the first two, an early break in the third set Medvedev set the tone for the rest as the match as he was in control from then on, save for a few poor service games – something that he knows he needs to work on. “I think I have a lot of things to improve regarding today’s match. Especially the serve, I was not happy at all with my serve,” said Medvedev. “The most important is to win, to just win the match, get into the second round, get the sensations of the court, of the atmosphere, everything. Usually later in the tournament everything goes better and better.”
The pressure will grow on the Russian with each passing match and it is whether he can live up that which determines how far he can go this fortnight. His newfound resolve and mental strength was just as prominent in his superb run last year, something he can hopes can continue in 2020. A Spanish qualifier who plays most of his matches on clay doesn’t look the type of player who should give him any trouble.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in straight sets