February 11, 2021
By Nick Mulvenney
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Daniil Medvedev continued his impressive run of form as he celebrated his 25th birthday with a clinical 6-2 7-5 6-1 victory over Roberto Carballes Baena to reach the third round of Australian Open on Thursday.
The fourth seed lost his cool when the Spaniard broke his serve in the second set but recovered his composure to prevail after 104 minutes on the John Cain Arena court and extend his winning streak to 16 matches.
The run includes victories over Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev and titles at the ATP Finals, French Masters and most recently the ATP Cup as mainstay of the Russian team.
“Sometimes in tennis and in all sports you see this, you have this momentum,” Medvedev said after wrapping up the match with his 13th ace.
“I’m really enjoying it and hopefully I can keep it going.”
While the third stadium court had been a bear pit on Wednesday night when Australian Nick Kyrgios beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert, Thursday’s evening session was witnessed by only a handful of fans.
“With a crowd it’s easier, but the aim on the tennis court is to win. When there’s no crowd, we do it for all the fans around the world,” said Medvedev.
Next up for the Russian in the third round is Serbian Filip Krajinovic, a prospect that Medvedev said would keep him from celebrating his birthday on Thursday.
“It’s a Slam, so I got my present from my wife but tomorrow I’ll train and get ready for the next match,” he said.
“If I’d lost, I’d probably go out and celebrate but I won so…”
The 2019 U.S. Open finalist said he would be happy to put the celebrations on hold until Sunday week when he hopes to be playing his second Grand Slam final.
“That’s the best present for anyone in the world so hopefully it can happen,” he said grinning.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Ken Ferris)