Daniil Medvedev won his 300th match on the ATP Tour by defeating 22-year-old compatriot and qualifier Alexander Shevchenko.
Medvedev is open about his struggles to adapt to clay but is determined to do his best on the dance floor, especially after an emotional end to the first hard court session of the season.
Medvedev needed to rally twice in the decider en route to a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory at the Manolo Santana Stadium in Madrid.
Playing defense on clay to secure his second win at the AP 1000 event could have been a recipe for disaster, but Medvedev hung in there.
Despite the loss, it’s been a big week for Shevchenko, moving up five spots to No. 91 in the ATP Live Rankings as he advances to the third round of the Masters 1000 main-event in Madrid.
Medvedev wanted to thank the 22-year-old for sending him packing.
“He played well. He is young, so I am sure he will climb the rankings, especially if he plays in this tournament,” Medvedev said.
“It’s always like this. He is still young and has a lot of time to climb.
“I’ve practiced with him before, I know he can play really well, so he’s more consistent. [and] With so many matches played like this, he will probably win next time and go up. I am very happy that I was able to beat him today.
Medvedev will face compatriot Aslan Karatev or Australian Alex de Minaur in the next round.
He now has 33 wins this season, enough to reach the top of the ATP rankings in Turin.
Medvedev has the potential to make a run at world No. 1 if he has a strong clay season and good returns on grass.
He previously held the number one spot in the ATP Rankings for a total of 16 weeks, the longest at the top of the rankings.
Medvedev claimed 17 of the 18 singles matches on hard courts and 18 on various events. His championship accolades include ATP Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai in 2019, Paris in 2020 and Toronto in 2021.
Read more: Rafael Nadal has fallen down the pecking order after the French Open