Daniil Medvedev is heating up once again at the Australian Open.
The seventh seed overcame some early struggles on serve against home favourite John Millman on Wednesday in Melbourne, where he registered a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win to sail into the third round at the hard-court Grand Slam.
“I think it was a great match,” said Medvedev. “Even the score in the second and third doesn’t reflect everything that went on the court. First set he managed to break me three times. That’s not that often that it happens, so I’m a little bit disappointed with myself, but he played amazing. So big credit to John.”
With the win, Medvedev advanced to the third round for the fifth year in a row at Melbourne Park. The 26-year-old, who reached the championship match in 2021 and 2022 at the first Grand Slam of the year, is bidding to become the fourth man in the Open Era to reach three consecutive Australian Open finals.
Medvedev and home favourite Millman split six breaks of serve in an engrossing opening 10 games of their first tour-level meeting. Once Medvedev clinched the first set with a decisive fourth break of the Millman serve, however, he barely looked back. The 16-time tour-level titlist cruised through the second and third sets with some typically persistent baseline hitting to wrap a two-hour, 19-minute triumph.
“Physcially for both of us it was tough I think,” said Medvedev, who converted eight of 13 break points in an impressive returning display. “One moment in the first set I was like, ‘How am I going to handle this?’ I was pretty tired, I just had to try to continue. There was one point on break point for me, it was a good rally, and I made my one cross-court [shot] and he didn’t even run. I was like, ‘OK, it’s tough for him also.’
“It was not easy first set. I think I was going for too much sometimes, so second and third I started playing a bit slower.”
Medvedev’s reward for his triumph against Millman is a third-round clash against 29th seed Sebastian Korda, who downed Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.