Medvedev gets crowd onside to reach last 16 for fourth year

Reuters

Russian title favourite Daniil Medvedev cruised into the fourth round at the Australian Open with an unruffled straight-sets victory over Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp on Saturday.

In sweltering conditions, the world number two won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in 1hr 55min to reach the last 16 for the fourth straight year in Melbourne.

Medvedev, coming off his high-octane win over home favourite Nick Kyrgios two days ago, could face either another Australian Chris O'Connell or American Maxime Cressy in the fourth round.

"I was hoping you were going to be a little bit easier on me you guys," Medvedev joked to the crowd, after he was booed by sections of the pro-Kyrgios crowd on Thursday.

"I'll put it this way, it's easier to play a guy from the Netherlands than a guy from Australia in Australia in Melbourne.

"Every good relationship must have its ups and downs so I think it's good, it's entertaining and it's real, there is some relationship going on."

The Russian 25-year-old was unhappy with the behaviour of some of the spectators in the stormy Kyrgios match, saying afterwards: "It's not everybody doing it but people who are doing it probably have a low IQ."

Medvedev broke in the third game and fought off a break point while serving out for the opening set.

The Russian broke again in the third game and held the break to take a two sets lead, tightening his grip on the match.

Medvedev was easing through the gears and grabbed another service in the fifth game of the third set with the finish line fast approaching.

A blistering return gave Medvedev a double break and served out for a comfortable win.

Medvedev, runner-up a year ago, is the title favourite in the absence of deported defending champion Novak Djokovic and is looking for back-to-back Grand Slam crowns after beating the Serb in the US Open final.


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