Russian Daniil Medvedev on Sunday took another step closer to world No.1 rank as he defeated 22nd seed Chilean clay-court specialist Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 to enter the quarterfinals of the French Open here.
This is the first time world No.2 Medvedev has reached the quarterfinals of this clay court tournament, beating Garin in two hours and four minutes. The Russian had a poor French Open record coming into this year’s tournament.
If Medvedev wins the title, he will become world No.1. Rather, he will become No.1 if he just makes it to the final and current No.1 Novak Djokovic crashes out before the final.
Medvedev, 25, will next play fifth seed and in-from Greece, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, also on Sunday.
Medvedev leads Tsitsipas 6-1 in their head-to-head meetings, and that includes a straight sets win in the semi-finals of Australian Open this year.
Medvedev, too, is fine form, and he has lost just one set on way to the quarterfinals. Also, he has not been taken to a tie-break in the 12 sets he has clinched so far in this competition. Against Garin on Sunday, he only lost serve once, and broke the 22nd seed six times.
In the Open Era, Medvedev is only the 11th Russian to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open.
In another match, Tsitsipas registered his 37th tour win of the season as he defeated Busta in two hours and six minutes to advance to the quarterfinals. The Greek has lost just one set in four matches so far. It was Tsitsipas’s 20th clay court won of the year, and looks in fine touch at the moment.
“My performance was good. I was very mentally there in every single game. Whether I was serving or not, I was very concentrated in the procedure, in the process,” Tsitsipas said.
“I think every single match that I had against him was a learning experience. I had high expectations for him, and that’s a good thing, going into the match having high expectations [for] your opponent. I think I also had a great start, very good start, where I didn’t let him attack a lot. I actually gave him not that much space to get going.”