Daniil Medvedev (27) only crashed for the third time in the current season right at the opening opponent, the first time on concrete. He dominated the Masters in Paris in 2020 and played in the final in the following one, but for the second year in a row he was eliminated right after the first match. This year, in the three-hour battle between the former champions of the Tournament of Champions, he was not enough against Grigor Dimitrov (32), whom he defeated a week ago in Vienna. The last event of the year, the Masters, lost the world number three to Carlos Alcaraz already in the second round.
Dimitrov – Medvedev 6:3, 6:7, 7:6
Daniil Medvedev he ended a year-long crisis at the beginning of the year and was almost unstoppable on concrete. The top Russian in the ATP rankings reached the finals of five tournaments in a row and dominated four of them. After the end of the clay spring and the grass part of the season, however, he does not have the results he wanted on the popular hard surfaces and lost the finals at the US Open, in Beijing and a few days ago in Vienna.
His confidence suffered another blow at the Masters in Paris, where he was eliminated for the second consecutive year after the opening match. The 2020 champion and last year’s finalist was not enough for Alex de Minaur last year and this time he was beyond his strength after a three-hour battle Grigor Dimitrovwhom he defeated a week ago in the Vienna hall. This is only his third defeat this year against an opening opponent, the first on hard courts.
Match statistics. (@livesport)
In the duel between the former winners of the Tournament of Champions, the former leader of the rankings had only one solid passage. After clearly losing the opening set, he took a 5:2 lead in the next set, but did not use a total of six set points and only forced a tie-break in the tie-break, which he won 7:4.
On the other hand, the former third-ranked player Dimitrov built up a 5:2 advantage in the decisive act, but even he could not end the set earlier than in a shortened game, although he had six match points. Medvedev parried one of them after an exchange of 47 punches. However, the tie-break was clearly directed by the Bulgarian, he allowed only two points to the erring favorite and after two hours and 56 minutes he used the seventh match point.
With the scalp of the Grand Slam champion, Dimitrov confirmed the great form of the last weeks, during which he also defeated Holger Rune and Carlos Alcaraz and took the hot Jannik Sinner to three sets. In the round of 16, he will face Alexander Bublik, with whom he can even the score at 3:3.
The round of 16 at the Masters in Paris is a nightmare for Dimitrov. He starts in the Bercy hall for the eleventh time and made it into the top sixteen for the tenth time. However, he went further only once, in 2019, when Novak Djokovic stopped him in the semi-finals.
The lower half of the spider already lost the two biggest favorites in the second round. On Tuesday, the two-time Grand Slam winner Carlos Alcaraz failed to enter the tournament, the world number two was surprisingly not enough for Roman Safiullin.
Djokovic – Etcheverry 6:3, 6:2
Novak Djokovic successfully returned to the courts after a month and a half long rest. At the indoor Masters 1000 in Paris, in his first tournament since the triumph at the US Open, he defeated the Argentine 6:3, 6:2 Tomás Martin Etcheverry and scored his 14th straight win.
“I’m satisfied. I think I played well in the important points. Some parts of the match were really good, but I lost my rhythm at times. But that’s normal after such a long time without tennis. To win in two sets against an improving opponent is good,” he said Djokovic.
The 36-year-old Serb has a great chance to end the year as world number one. He currently has a lead of 580 points, should he triumph in Paris for the seventh time, his cushion will swell to 1495 points.
In the round of 16, the six-time Serbian champion, who has turned 8 of his last 9 starts into at least the final, will face the Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor (h2h 2:0).
Results of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Paris
The article was originally published for Livesport Zprávy.