Top seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev has set a blockbuster fourth-round US Open showdown with red-hot Australian Nick Kyrgios after defeating China’s Wu Yibing in the early hours of Saturday morning at Flushing Meadows.
Beginning the match close to 11pm after Serena William’s pulsating three-hour final match against Ajla Tomljanovic inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Medvedev dismissed Wu 6-4 6-2 6-2 to reach the second week for the fourth consecutive year.
Asked what it was like to watch Williams’ farewell performance while waiting to take the court, Medvedev said, “It was a crazy match, close to three hours. It was definitely a pity she lost, but if that’s the last match of her career it was an amazing match and she was close to winning. But Ajla played a great level and congrats to her.”
After Medvedev won a 35-shot rally – the longest of the tournament – to avoid dropping serve in the final game of the second set, the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion raced to the finish line, closing out the match in one hour, 55 minutes.
Medvedev will put his World No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking on the line against Kyrgios, who defeated the 26-year-old last month at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, where he extended his ATP Head2Head lead over Medvedev to 3-1. The 2021 US Open champion currently finds himself behind Rafael Nadal in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and will surrender his No. 1 crown after the tournament if he falls to Kyrgios.
“We’ve played great matches. I think all have been quite tight on the scoreboard,” Medvedev said. “It’s 3-1 to him but I will try to do better this time and it will be a great match for people to watch.
“Tonight I feel like I played at a quite high level and I was serving a little better than him, which was the key. There were a lot of tight games and I felt the level of the match was high.”
Attempting to become the first player to win back-to-back US Opens since Roger Federer won five straight between 2004-08, Medvedev has advanced to the fourth round without dropping a set in the first week. He is also seeking his third appearance in the final at Flushing Meadows, having pushed Nadal to five sets in the 2019 title match.
Medvedev has spent a total of 16 weeks at World No. 1 since February.
Wu is the first Chinese man in the history of the tournament (since 1881) to reach the third round. He has moved to a career-high No. 129 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings as he continues his battle with countryman Zhang Zhizhen (120) to become the first Chinese man to crack the Top 100.