July 24, 2024
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev made a successful start to his chase for his first title of the year Monday in Halle.
Despite facing a set point at 5-6 in the opening set, the third seed defeated Portugal’s Nuno Borges 7-6(4), 6-4 to reach the second round of the Terra Wortmann Open. Medvedev claimed his first grass-court win of 2024 in one hour and 31 minutes.

“It was a really tricky match. First match on grass, so the sensations were not there,” Medvedev said. “But I tried my best and I felt like in the end of the match we were both playing better and better, so that’s a good thing and actually the last game I played on the return was pretty good.”

Borges, who was trying to claim the first Top 10 win of his career (now 0-8), had an opening at the end of the first set. The favourite Medvedev hit a double fault well long to give the Portuguese No. 1 a set point. But the 28-year-old then hit a big first serve out wide to escape trouble.

According to Infosys ATP Stats, the No. 5 player in the PIF ATP Rankings only won five more points than his opponent in the match (74-69), but he saved five of the six break points he faced, which proved critical.

A finalist this year at the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open, Medvedev is now 22-1 against players outside the Top 20 this season. He will next play Chinese No. 1 Zhang Zhizhen, who battled past Sebastian Ofner 7-6(8), 6-7(3), 6-4.

It will be the first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting between Medvedev and Zhang (no previous tour-level matches), but they played once eight years ago in Nice ATP 250 qualifying. Medvedev won the match in a final-set tie-break.

Fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz closed out the day’s action with a 7-5, 7-6(2) win against Flavio Cobolli.

The Polish star hit 19 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-serve points. He will next take on Australian qualifier James Duckworth or #NextGenATP Brazilian Joao Fonseca.

Wild card Dominik Koepfer of Germany led eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 4-3, when the Canadian retired due to a left hip injury.

In other action, Fabian Marozsan ousted Roman Safiullin 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. He could next play World No. 1 Jannik Sinner should the Italian defeat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor.

Another Italian, Lorenzo Sonego, squeaked past Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(6), 7-6(5) behind a good first-serve performance, winning 85 per cent of those points. Sonego will take on second seed Alexander Zverev or qualifier Oscar Otte next.

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