Daniil Medvedev is the defending US Open champion and the World No. 1. Yet quietly, the 26-year-old is marching through the draw.
The top seed ousted Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows for the fifth consecutive year. He has now won 20 of his past 22 matches at the year’s final major.
“In general I’m happy with my level in the third set, so that’s great. At the end of the match it was getting better and better,” Medvedev said. “At the same time a win is the most important, three sets. Try to get out as early as possible even if it is pretty late. Looking forward for [the] next round.”
Medvedev will next play China’s Wu Yibing, with the prospect of a fourth-round blockbuster against Australian Nick Kyrgios if they both win their next match.
The World No. 1 consistently threatened Rinderknech’s serve, converting five of the 17 break points he earned. Medvedev also saved all three break points he faced to advance after two hours and 11 minutes.
“The most important is to win, to stay in the tournament, to try to get as far as possible, for sure try to raise your level when the opponents go stronger and stronger,” Medvedev said. “Finally you’re going to play somebody who has a Grand Slam or something like this.”
Medvedev’s next opponent, Wu, defeated Portugal’s Nuno Borges 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 after three hours and 46 minutes. The 22-year-old became the first male singles player from China to reach the third round of the US Open in tournament history (since 1881) and the first male singles player from China to advance to the third round at a major since Kho Sin-Khie at Wimbledon in 1946.