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27 Oct, 2022 15:33

Medvedev responds to jeers after downing home hero (VIDEO)

The Russian number one defeated Dominic Thiem at the Erste Bank Open in Austria
Medvedev responds to jeers after downing home hero (VIDEO)

Daniil Medvedev proved too strong for Dominic Thiem as the Russian eased past his Austrian rival in straight sets in their round-of-16 meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

Medvedev saw off Thiem with a scoreline of 6-3 6-3 at the hard-court tournament at the Wiener Stadthalle in the Austrian capital – reacting to boos from the home crowd by giving a sarcastic ‘thumbs-up’ gesture after match point. 

After recently becoming a father for the first time when wife Daria gave birth to their daughter, Medvedev had said on the eve of the tournament in Vienna that he had experienced “a lot of emotions I thought that I was not able to feel.”

But the Russian world number four appeared fully focused on Thursday as he aims to finish the season strongly, converting three of the six break points he manufactured on the Thiem serve, while saving the solitary one he faced from the Austrian. 

Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Thiem is still finding his way back to full form and fitness after a lengthy layoff due to a wrist injury sustained in June of last year. 

The Austrian – who is the 2020 US Open champion but has dropped to the world number 113 spot – had made semifinal appearances at the Gijon and European Opens in recent weeks, before colliding with Medvedev in Vienna.

Medvedev, 26, himself was forced to withdraw from his semifinal against Novak Djokovic at the Astana Open in Kazakhstan earlier this month, but has returned with two routine wins in Vienna thus far, having seen off Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets in the previous round.

Medvedev is hoping to finish 2022 strongly after a season in which he reached the Australian Open final in January, occupied the world number one spot for a total 16 weeks, and won an ATP tour title at Los Cabos Mexico.

But the Moscow-born star has also had to endure setbacks such as a hernia operation and the frustration of a fourth-round exit at the US Open in September, where he was the defending champion.

Medvedev next plays in the quarterfinals in Vienna, where he will meet the winner of the match between Italian sixth seed Jannik Sinner and unseeded Argentine Francisco Cerundolo. 

Elsewhere at the Vienna Open (also known as the Erste Bank Open), there was disappointment for Russian fourth seed Andrey Rublev as he was beaten by Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, 3-6 4-6, on Thursday.

Both Medvedev and Rublev are aiming to secure their spots in the eight-man singles tournament at the ATP Finals in Turin next month.

Before that, the ATP Paris Masters 1000 in the French capital in late October-early November offers a prestigious prize and significant rankings points.

Medvedev is a previous winner of that title, having triumphed in Paris in 2020.  

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