Day 8 of the Australian Open on the men’s side has four intriguing clashes, including Daniil Medvedev taking on Stan Wawrinka for a spot in the last 8. Wawrinka is a former champion in Melbourne while Medvedev will look for another statement win to send a message to the rest of his competitors.
Medvedev cruised through another match on Saturday, beating Alexei Popyrin in three sets to move on. He was not broken in the 6-4 6-3 6-2 win and was always in control against the young Australian. “I have good memories from last year, which was my first time in the second week of a Grand Slam and hopefully I can make it even further this year. I just try to win as many matches as I can; hopefully I can win seven here.” he said afterwards.
Wawrinka should be well rested coming into his match after it was cut short by a John Isner retirement. He was a set and 4-1 up at the time so that should give him a confidence boost, even if some of it came at the expense of an opponent struggling with foot issues. “I was playing well again today. I was really happy the way I was moving, the way I was playing. That’s very positive.” he said, after making it to round for the first time in three years. “It’s great to be back in the second week, that’s for sure. Feeling way better. Positive to have a good practice tomorrow and to be ready for the next one.”
While Wawrinka is far from the player that won three different slams, he can still pose a huge threat to the Russian. Medvedev should advance here but it is the type of match that often results in a slip up for young up and comers, with a wily veteran using all he knows to secure the win. The pair played at the US Open with Medvedev winning in four sets. He will hope for the more of the same, eventually grinding the Swiss down and drawing enough errors to help him to victory.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in four sets