Russian player Daniil Medvedev survived a second-set slugfest to secure a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands and advance to the third round at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
“The second set was not that clean," conceded Medvedev, who surrendered a break advantage and saved a set point on serve in the set. “The first set was great. Everything was working. I had three games where I had break points but managed to break in the first game, which was enough," the Russian was quoted as saying by atptour.com.
“The second set was going not that bad. He (van de Zandschulp) was not serving especially well, doing a lot of double faults. So I tried to keep pressure and use my chances. Actually, on return, I feel like I did a good job. Two breaks on these fast courts are enough to win and I should have done a little bit better on my serve. But the first match is tricky and I’m happy that I managed to go through, and hopefully, I will raise my level in the next matches," added Medvedev.
Van de Zandschulp continued to be plagued by inconsistent serve, as he finished with 11 double faults.
“It happens to me (in) some tournaments," Medvedev said of the Dutch player’s serving woes. “You don’t know why, you just cannot put a second serve in and actually I did a few also here (in the match). So maybe there was something with the balls getting a little bit heavy with the humidity," opined Medvedev.
Medvedev will next face Montreal quarterfinalist Tommy Paul of the US or Denis Shapovalov of Canada, with a potential rematch with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios looming in the last eight.
Meanwhile, Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz breezed past home hope Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2 in his second-round match to earn his first win in his second Cincinnati appearance.
“I’m really happy with the performance today," he said. “One of the goals in this tournament is to grow with the pressure… to enjoy as I did at the beginning of the year and last year. To enjoy playing great tennis, to try to be relaxed. I think in this round I did it and I’m really happy with it."
Seeded third here, Alcaraz will next face Marin Cilic.