Medvedev in the 1/8 finals of the Miami Masters! He avoided a battle with the most uncomfortable opponent

Russian Daniil Medvedev confidently defeated Spaniard Pedro Martinez-Portero in the third round of the Miami Masters. He made it to the last 16 and would have faced his most uncomfortable opponent there.

Medvedev in the 1/8 finals of the Miami Masters

The third-round matches at the Miami Masters concluded Monday. Only two Russians made it to the third round: No. 29 Aslan Karatsev and Daniil Medvedev, seeded No. 1. Andrei Rublev (5) and Karen Khachanov (23) unfortunately lost in the second round. For Karatsev each victory this season is worth its weight in gold. His ranking points from the year before have already burned up, and if he does not improve his results he is in danger of quickly dropping outside the top 50. Aslan began his season by missing the ATP Cup because of a coronavirus. He then won the ATP-250 title in Sydney and reached the third round at the Australian Open. But then he lost five of six matches, including the Masters at Indian Wells. His second-round victory in Miami over Hugo Umbert, 7-5, 6-2, was a long-awaited win.

The leader of the Miami Masters seeding, Daniil Medvedev, won his opening match in an easy and unconstrained battle of the world’s ex-first racquet. He handled Sir Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 29 minutes. “I’m glad I didn’t let my opponent get any break points. I think I have room to add to it. But again, it was a great match with a great opponent. I’m glad I’m going forward. On the days when you get serve, it’s hard for the opponent to take. That helps. It was easier in the second set, but at the beginning the match was hard. When you serve, you put a lot of pressure on the opponent. And that helps in equal matches,” said Medvedev after the victory.

It is worth mentioning that Daniil at this tournament is fighting not only for the prestigious title, but also for a chance to get back to the first place in the rating, which he lost a week earlier after an unsuccessful performance in Indian Wells. At the end of that tournament, the Russian was 55 points behind leader Novak Djokovic. But at the end of Miami, he will also lose last year’s points for that tournament – 180. The Serb will get only 45 points for Miami 2019. That would widen the gap between the two competitors to 190 points. Medvedev will need to reach at least the semifinals in Miami-2022 to close that gap.

The first step to his goal was made when Daniel defeated Murray, and in the third round the Russian will play against Spaniard Pedro Martinez-Portero. The two men had previously met once before, at the 2020 Australian Open, where Medvedev won in three sets. In Miami 2022, Pedro successfully handled two opponents without losing a set – the German Jan-Lennard Struff and the Chilean Cristian Garin – and surely hoped to build on his success. But former top-10 tennis player, winner of two Masters Series tournaments Andrey Chesnokov said in an interview with “Championship”: “I do not think that Danya can stumble in the match against Martinez-Portero in Miami. The Spaniard feels better on the ground, and Danya beat Murray comfortably enough and with reserve. Medvedev will have more confidence and aggression in his next meeting – that’s the reason why he’ll win his third-round match.”

Daniil started the match against Martinez with a good reserve; he kept his strength both physically and emotionally. The Russian took his serves quickly and confidently, but in the very first game the Spaniard put up a serious fight. Allegedly Pedro saved three break points, 1:1, and he controlled his serve better. But still in the end of the game Medvedev caught his opponent at mistakes and made the only break – 5:3 and immediately won the set – 6:3 in 38 minutes. At the beginning of the second set the Spaniard got to a break point for the first time, but Daniil deflected the threat and made a break himself – 2:1. However, the Spaniard recovered immediately – 2:2. The Russian had to start all over again. In the seventh game he again broke his opponent’s serve and after that he easily won the match – 6:3, 6:4 in 1 hour and 24 minutes.

That’s how Daniil Medvedev won his second match at the tournament and made it to the 1/8 finals, where he will meet American Jenson Brooksby who defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut. Recently, in February, Daniel was candid and admitted that his least favorite opponent was the Spaniard, whom he lost all three of his matches. Thus, he will not meet with his “uncomfortable opponent” again.