Daniil Medvedev, the new world No. 1, beat Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-2 6-3 in the ATP 500 event. He advanced to the semi-finals of the Mexican Open. There he will face Rafa Nadal in a rematch of the Australian Open final.
Medvedev took the court hours after Novak Djokovic’s quarter-final loss in Dubai. He was guaranteed the Russian would take over as world number one, converting six breakpoints. And hit 12 aces, including one to secure the victory.
Medvedev was forced to rally back in the second set after going behind 3-1. He had blitzed through the first set, converting all three break point opportunities. He won 80 percent of his first-serve points.
Daniil Medvedev said, “It’s not easy, actually, to play a match when you get this (news) during the day. So then when I was receiving all the messages, well I understood that, yeah OK, it’s going to happen.”
He added, “Everybody knows how difficult it is to play against Daniil,” Nadal said. “I know I have to play at my highest level if I want to have any chance, and that’s what I’m going to try. Kind of a chance to get my revenge. You have to learn from the best, which is him, Roger (Federer), Novak, Andy (Murray) always when they were losing a tough fight, they were trying to get their revenge.”
In their previous meeting in Melbourne in January, Medvedev blew a two-set lead over Nadal. He allowed Nadal to capture a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title.
Nadal is on a 13-match winning streak in 2022. He has made his greatest start to a season in his 35-year history. Medvedev will have to be at his best to defeat him.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world number four who finished second in Acapulco last year, advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-3 6-4 triumph over American Marcos Giron and has yet to drop a set this week.
Tsitsipas will face British sixth seed Cameron Norrie, who won the day’s final round on the main show court by thrashing Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 6-0.
After previous year’s champion Alexander Zverev assaulted the umpire’s chair and was disqualified for assaulting an umpire’s chair, Gojowczyk was given a walkover to the quarterfinals.