Medvedev sets up blockbuster US Open clash
Defending champion Daniil Medvedev has arranged a delicious US Open meeting with in-form Australia’s Nick Kyrgios after the two won their respective third-round matches.
World number one Medvedev did routine work against Chinese challenger Wu Yibing, winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in just under two hours at Arthur Ashe Stadium, which ended in the early hours of Saturday morning in New York.
Wu, 22, had made history as the first men’s player from his home country to reach the third round of the US Open but had no answer as reigning champion Medvedev fired 12 aces and converted six of the 12 break points he earned.
Medvedev, 26, has now won 21 of his last 23 games at Flushing Meadows, having reached the final in 2019 before clinching the title in 2021, and is in the second week of the tournament for a fourth straight season.
The Russian is also bidding to become the first man to successfully defend his US Open title since Roger Federer in 2008.
Next up for Medvedev is Kyrgios, who has enjoyed a 3-1 head-to-head lead in their previous encounters.
Kyrgios recently defeated the world number one at the Canadian Open in August, although Medvedev defeated his rival at the Australian Open earlier in the year.
Kyrgios, 27, is widely considered to be in the best form of his career after making his maiden Grand Slam final appearance at Wimbledon in July, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in four sets.
Seeded 23rd in New York, Kyrgios booked his place in the fourth round with a straight-set win over American JJ Wolf at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The fiery Australian has lost just one set so far this year in New York, while Medvedev has yet to lose one.
“We played great games. I think everyone was pretty close on the scoreboard.” said Medvedev, who knows defeat would mean losing his world number one to Rafael Nadal post-tournament.
“It’s 3-1 for him but I’ll try to do better this time and it’s going to be a great game for the spectators.
“Tonight I feel like I played at a pretty high level and I served a little better than him which was key. There were a lot of close games and I felt the level of the game was high.”
After defeating Wolf with a clinical performance in their third-round meeting that included some typically entertaining moments, Kyrgios said it was him “I’m happy to go forward and play against Medvedev.”
The combustible Kyrgios appears to be playing more focused in New York but has occasionally allowed his emotions to get the better of him.
That included in the second round when he was seen spitting on the court and directing a tirade at members of his box and also calling on members of the crowd to smoke marijuana. Kyrgios was later fined $7,500 by organizers.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, 27th-seeded Russia’s Karen Khachanov is also safe in the fourth round after British opponent Jack Draper was injured in the third set of his game.
Khachanov was up 6-3, 4-6, 6-5 at the time of elimination and next plays 12th-placed Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.