Daniil Medvedev made the perfect start to his Miami Open presented by Itau title bid on Friday, as he charged past Yen-Hsun Lu 6-2, 6-2.
The Russian struck 24 winners and dropped just four points behind his first serve (22/26) to advance in 56 minutes. Medvedev, who is competing as the top seed at an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time, is the second player to reach 15 wins this season (15-2). Medvedev’s countryman, Andrey Rublev, leads the ATP Tour with 16 victories this year (16-3).
“It was not easy to play today with the windy conditions,” Medvedev said in an on-court interview. “I am happy that I managed to keep my nerve, play solid and not make so many mistakes… Everything worked well and I am looking forward to the next round.”
The World No. 2 is aiming to add more silverware to his 2021 trophy collection in Miami. Medvedev has already led Russia to the ATP Cup title (d. Italy) and captured his 10th ATP Tour crown in Marseille (d. Herbert) this season.
Medvedev refused to make errors in the opening stages of the match. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion showcased his defensive skills in several extended baseline rallies and ripped a backhand winner up the line to lead by a double break after just seven minutes. Medvedev repeated the same pattern in the second set with increased forehand aggression and closed the second-round encounter with his ninth ace of the match.
Medvedev will face Singapore champion Alexei Popyrin in the third round. The Aussie advanced to the third round at a Masters 1000 event for the first time with a 6-4, 6-2 win against 30th seed Reilly Opelka.
“All of the hard work I’ve put in the pre-season is paying off, 11 wins in 14 matches,” Popyrin told ATPTour.com. “I really thought I was consistent during the match. Putting in lots of returns is difficult when Reilly is firing down 230 km/h bombs.”