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6 Oct, 2022 15:17

Medvedev and Djokovic march on in Kazakhstan

Russian star Medvedev could be on a collision course with Djokovic in Astana
Medvedev and Djokovic march on in Kazakhstan

The Astana Open in Kazakhstan is promising some marquee matchups ahead of Sunday’s men’s singles final, after both Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev stormed into the last eight with ease on Thursday.

Serbian star Djokovic continued his impressive hard-court form as he powered past Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets (6-3, 6-1), dispatching the world number 34 in just 71 minutes in what was his sixth win in a row, and on the back of claiming his 89th tour-level title in Tel Aviv just days ago.

Van de Zandschulp did post some resistance against the dominant Djokovic, and even got to break point situations in each of the sets but was ultimately powerless to keep the in-form star at bay – particularly given the Serb’s current form which has seen him not drop serve in any of his last three matches.

I think my serve worked very well when I needed to get out of the trouble in the first set particularly,” said Djokovic afterwards. 

There were some 30/30 games, and when I broke his serve for 4-2, I faced a break point and I came in, and he had a look at that passing shot and he missed it. The match is decided in these moments. [Between] 5-2 or 4-3 up there is a big difference, and I served well to end the first set.

[In the] second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” he added.

Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic has now made the quarterfinals in eight of the nine events he has played this year, and will take on Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the last eight.

The winner of that match could face another Russian star, Medvedev, after the former world number one cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori on Thursday.

Medvedev progresses to play Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in their quarterfinal match on Friday.  

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev, meanwhile, also secured passage to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2 straight sets win against China’s Zhang Zhizhen earlier this week.

Rublev will now face France’s Adrian Mannarino in his own quarterfinal matchup on Friday.