Daniil Medvedev will look to end the hopes of another American in round four of the US Open on Monday, taking on the unseeded Frances Tiafoe for a spot in the quarter-finals. Last year’s losing finalist finally looks to be getting back into the groove after a less than impressive follow up to his second half of 2019.
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Against the heavy hitting of wildcard JJ Wolf, there was the possibility that Medvedev could be caught off guard by a player with little pedigree at the highest level. As it was, there was a clear class difference from the beginning and the Russian was always in control. He broke seven times in total in the 6-3 6-3 6-2 win to make it nine straight sets won this fortnight. “It’s good that I managed to win in three sets and I didn’t even have to play [to] 7-5 because six months of not playing tennis, it’s not easy to recover from playing five or four-set matches,” Medvedev after “With a day off and just a three-setter to play, I’m feeling good.”
Tiafoe’s career hasn’t gone all in one direction the way many may have predicted following his breakthrough on the tour a few years back. He was as high as No. 29 early last year but entered this event just outside the top 80. Taking advantage of Grigor Dimitrov’s early exit, the American finds himself in the fourth round after beating Marton Fucsovics on Saturday. He was broken just once in the 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory, to secure a career best in New York.
Tiafoe can play electric tennis at times but there is no doubt he struggles with consistency, especially over a five set format. Playing someone like Medvedev, who is solid from the baseline but can also overpower many players, seems like a bad matchup for the American whose impressive run should end here. The pair played at this year’s Australian Open too, where Medvedev broke nine times in a shaky four set win in the opening round.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in straight sets