Needing a few more wins to ensure he remains World No. 1 after Indian Wells, Daniil Medvedev will next play Gael Monfils on Monday. It will be the third meeting between the pair with the head to head currently at 1-1 but the Russian is much improved from 2019 when these matches took place.
Monfils has not played too many tournaments this year but started the season well with a title in Adelaide and a quarter final at the Australian Open. He returned after a month out to ease past Filip Krajinovic in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
Medvedev played his first match as No.1 against Tomas Machac, winning comfortably against the fast improving Czech. He wasn’t broken in the 6-3 6-2 win and faced just one break point, controlling the match after saving it in the first game of the match. “I think I was pretty consistent,” Medvedev said. “If you look at the first set, it was pretty even. He made a few unforced errors and maybe some bad decisions in the crucial moments. That’s how tennis is sometimes.
Monfils has found it difficult to consistently push on against the best of the best and he may find it difficult again here, especially with few matches after a month out. Medvedev will be the dominant one from the baseline and it’s hard to see how the Frenchman can change things up. The winner will play a Spaniard in the next round with Carlos Alcaraz and Roberto Bautista Agut facing off for a spot in the fourth round.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in straight sets