Top-ranked Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev was a set away from losing his opener at the Madrid Masters but he recovered and progressed into the round-of-16. Medvedev, seeded at No. 2, lost the opening set against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina bit then won the following two as he claimed a 4-6 6-4 6-2 win.
Medvedev claimed the first break of the match in the fifth game but then dropped his serve twice as Davidovich Fokina stole the first set. Medvedev also blew a break early in the second set but broke Davidovich Fokina once again and then held on to his serve to force a decider..
Davidovich Fokina served out the first game of the third set but then suffered back-to-back breaks as Medvedev took a 5-1 lead. Medvedev served out for the match in the eighth game. "I am happy with the win,” said Medvedev.
“The first set wasn’t easy and I thought it was going to be where I had another 25 break points and I wouldn’t win. I finally played quite well and did well in the third set. I think Madrid is a little faster than other clay tournaments, so better for my game”.
Medvedev plays next Cristian Garin
Garin, who beat Dominik Koepfer, will fight against Medvedev for a place in the Madrid quarterfinal. Elsewhere, rising Russian Aslan Karatsev beat Diego Schwartzman 2-6 6-4 6-1. Schwartzman was up 6-2 2-0 before Karatsev created a stunning comeback to beat the Argentine and make the Madrid round-of-16.
"I'm not sure if I changed something," said Schwartzman. "I think he changed. He was missing almost every single shot. After [I was up] 6-2, 2-0, he started to hit too many winners, too many aces... It was very difficult for me.
Halfway through the second set he was playing very hard, very close to the lines, serving too many first serves. I had no chance after that." Previously this clay season, Schwartzman lost in the Monte Carlo Masters second round and made the quarterfinal at the Barcelona Open.
Schwartzman remains hopeful that he'll play better at the Rome Masters and Lyon. "It's clear that I'm not playing my best tennis, I can't find the rhythm. On top of that, I'm not having any luck with the draws; Going early and having Karatsev play me, one of the best of the year, doesn't help me at all. I hope to do better in Rome and Lyon," Schwartzman added.