World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev is feeling good on the clay courts of Roland Garros as he beat Reilly Opelka 6-2 6-4 6-2 to reach the French Open round-of-16 for the first time in his career. Medvedev, seeded at No. 2, arrived to the French Open with four consecutive first round exits at the tournament.
“Clay at Roland Garros feels great this year," said Medvedev. "As I said after the first round [versus Alexander Bublik], now I know that to beat me, the guys have to play well. I am definitely happy with my game and my return today, because I actually hit more aces than him.
That's a great achievement." Medvedev lost his serve once but claimed five breaks against big-serving Opelka. “It's definitely never an easy draw to play Reilly," said Medvedev. "Of course, indoor hard courts would be tougher than outdoor clay courts.
He made his first semi-final in [an] ATP Masters 1000 on clay. I think a little bit [the] rainy conditions, wet, heavy court - which I totally hate on clay - helped me today. In these conditions, even guessing one side, I could still get back to another side if I saw the serve coming the other way”.
Alexander Zverev joins Medvedev in the round-of-16 Zverev also claimed a straight-set win as he beat Laslo Djere 6-2 7-5 6-2. “I was down 3-5, 40-0 on his serve and you don’t always come back from that score,” said Zverev.
“He played a fantastic match, he is playing great on this surface so I knew I had to play much, much better than the first two rounds and I did that today. “I am happy that the further we go in the tournament the better I start hopefully playing.
This is the main goal of my tennis career, to win Grand Slams and I feel in the past year-and-a-half I am on a very good [path] again and I hope I can continue”. Zverev is now set for a tough round-of-16 meeting as he plays next against former world No.
4 Kei Nishikori. “[I will] look to recover well today and tomorrow," said Nishikori. "Especially against Sascha. I have been lost to him [in his] last two tournaments. I am pretty sure I'm going to have some chances, but obviously he's good player and [a] tough player. So I have to figure it out a little bit with my coaches."