This is called starting with a bang. Frustrated by Reilly Opelka in St. Petersburg a fortnight ago, Daniil Medvedev is off to a good start in Austria. Widely favorite in his first round Wednesday against the Taiwanese Jason Jung, 127th player in the world drafted in qualifying, the Russian held his number 4 seed in the tournament by leaving only 4 games to his opponent (6-3, 6- 1) in just over an hour (1:05 to be precise) on the Viennese central court. In the second round, he will face the winner of the 100% Canadian duel between Félix Auger-Aliassime and Vasek Pospisil.
The entries in the running can be difficult to apprehend for the favorites, especially against players they do not know. So Daniil Medvedev stifled his opponent from the start, just like what members of the “Big 3” usually do. A white station wagon to start and he had already put Jason Jung’s head underwater. It must be said that the Taiwanese helped him a lot by starting the game very tense with four unforced errors in the exchange (25 errors in all for 8 winning moves).
Tsitsipas knew how to be patient
Medvedev, he did his best to protect his faceoffs. Every time he was threatened a little, he raised his voice, dismissing the 5 break points he was faced with. In the second set, the difference in level between the two players widened and the Russian quickly flew away. He was also particularly effective at net where he scored the point 11 times out of 13 climbs. This should give him confidence for the continuation of hostilities.
For his part, Stéfanos Tsitsipas was less expeditious. The Greek had to show patience and perseverance to overthrow (6-7, 6-3, 6-4) a striking Jan-Lennard Struff in just under two hours of play (1h52 precisely). In difficulty to raise for a set and a half, he first suffered from the opposing power. Before giving in to the tie-break in the first act, the world number 5 had to put out the big game to save 3 set points at 4-5 on his service.
Sinner will challenge Rublev
But little by little, Tsitsipas managed to better anticipate the first opponents and Struff made more mistakes. As in the 8th game of the second set, a real turning point, during which the German made a double fault and then missed a high forehand volley to concede his service for the first time. Completely revived, the Greek put a new boost at the start of the last act and held his advantage until the end. He will face Grigor Dimitrov in the second round in a duel of aesthetes.
At the same time, Jannik Sinner emerged victorious from his duel against Casper Ruud. The young Italian won in two sets (7-6, 6-3) and 1h44 of play. On hard indoors, his dry flat strikes were effective. But the first set was hotly contested and the Norwegian paid dearly for a poorly managed decisive game. For a place in the quarterfinals, the recent semi-finalist in Cologne will be opposed to Andrey Rublev, titled in St. Petersburg, for a shock of hitters that promises.