Medvedev reaches landmark on return to action
Daniil Medvedev reached a career milestone as the world number one racked up a 250th victory on his comeback in Mexico, seeing off Australia’s Rinky Hijikata in routine fashion.
Playing his first competitive match since June, Medvedev overcome his wildcard rival 6-4 6-3 as the Russian returned to his favored hard court surface.
Medvedev, 26, is making his first appearance at the tournament at Los Cabos, which is serving as part of his preparations in the build-up to his bid to defend his US Open title in New York later this month.
Medvedev said he had been made aware of the impending milestone before the match and has no intention of stopping at 250 wins he enjoys an 11th week at the top of the ATP standings.
“Somebody told me this a few days ago at media day, otherwise I would not have known,” Medvedev was quoted as saying by the ATP website.
“That’s probably a milestone in a way. For sure I want more victories but that’s also nice to have 250. We’ll try to get more.”
The milestone follows another landmark recently reached by Medvedev, after he became the Russian male player to spend the longest amount of time as world number one. The previous record of nine weeks was held by Marat Safin.
Medvedev and his compatriots were forced to sit out the last Grand Slam at Wimbledon after it banned Russians.
Medvedev admitted that the enforced break had not been ideal, while he was also playing a first hard court match since reaching the Miami Open quarterfinals back in March.
“It’s definitely not that easy to play after you stop for a while, especially [playing my] first match on hard courts in a long, long time, since Miami,” said the Moscow-born star, who is the top seed in Mexico.
“Sensations were not bad. I could have just broke a little bit more, but when you win, everything is fine. I have to play like this in the next matches.”
Medvedev next meets Ricardas Berankis in the quarterfinals, after the Lithuanian overcame Facundo Bagnis of Argentina in their round of 16 meeting.
The biggest challenge of the North American hard court swing will come in New York, where Medvedev aims to defend the Grand Slam title he won last year.
On that occasion, the Russian earned a maiden major title after seeing off Novak Djokovic in the final, although the Serb is set to be absent this time round due to US rules preventing the entry of unvaccinated non-citizens.