23-year-old Daniil Medevedev from Russian continued in his rich vein of form this season with a straightforward 7-6(2), 6-2 victory over Jeremy Chardy to advance to the second round of the Rotterdam Open in Holland.
Medvedev, seeded fifth in Rotterdam, lifted the Sofia Open title last week in Bulgaria – his fourth career ATP title – and looks poised to go all the way here again. The Russian only had to weather a challenge from his 32-year-old French opponent in the opening set before cruising through the remainder of the match in just over an hour and half.
“It was a tough match with Jeremy serving for the first set at 5-4,” said Medvedev. “I went a little bit crazy, having been up, but I managed to fight back and win. I got furious, as I’d been 4-1 up, but that emotion helped me to re-focus.”
Up next for the young gun is Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, who outshone Matthew Ebden in straight sets. And Medvedev knows what kind of challenge it will be.
“Fernando always plays good tennis as a lefty,” Medvedev said. “I lost the last time [in ‘s-Hertogenbosch], but I beat him in 2017 [in Montpellier]. I will have to be ready to play my best.”
Elsewhere, 2015 champion and a former world No.3, Stan Wawrinka defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(4), ending a 3-match losing streak against the big-serving Canadian and advancing to the quarterfinals.
Raonic has outlasted the Wawrinka in a four-hour marathon thriller at the Australian Open in January, but couldn’t get to grips with the Swiss’s clinical play this time.
“Tonight was a really good level, that is for sure,” said Wawrinka, who’s now stretched his head-to-head record against Raonic to 5-3. “It is one of the matches I have played in many months now… So far I [played] two great matches, tonight was a great performance.”
Wawrinka next faces Canadian sensation, Denis Shapovalov, who eased past Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, a champion in 2017, made a winning return to Rotterdam with a 6-1, 6-4 dismissal of Thomas Fabbiano in 66 minutes, bombarding the Italian with 12 aces en route to the second round.
Tsonga lifted the Montpellier Open title last week in France and will seek to keep up his impressive level when he takes on Dutch qualifier, Tallon Griekspoor for a spot in the quarterfinals.
In a stunning first round upset, Damir Dzumhur, who had not won a single match this season, defeated Australian Open semifinalist, Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to move into the second round.