Fourth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev is through to the Australian Open fourth round for a second consecutive year after a routine 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win over ailing Australian Alexei Popyrin Saturday night.
Popyrin, who was hampered by a left thigh injury, never got into the match against last year’s US Open finalist, and made more than double the number of unforced errors (44 to 19).
“I am happy to win it in straight sets,” Medvedev said on court. “I have good memories from last year, which was my first time in the second week of a Grand Slam and hopefully I can make it even further this year. I just try to win as many matches as I can; hopefully I can win seven here.”
Wawrinka said, “You never want your opponent to pull out. I was playing well again today. I was really happy the way I was moving, the way I was playing. That’s very positive.
“It’s great to be back in the second week, that’s for sure. Feeling way better. Positive to have a good practice tomorrow and to be ready for the next one.”
Medvedev took the opportunity to hone one area of his game which may still need a little sharpening: his volleys. He won 15 of 16 of his net approaches, including one on match point.
Looking ahead to his meeting with Wawrinka, Medvedev said, “It’s a very tough opponent for the fourth round. He’s won three majors and has gone deep a lot of times. It’s never going to be an easy match against Stan and I will have to show my best game to have a chance.”