Medvedev on course for Kyrgios showdown

·3-min read

World No.1 Daniil Medvedev is on course for an uncomfortable US Open blockbuster against Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round after sweeping past Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.

Defending champion Medvedev won for the 20th time in his last 22 matches at Flushing Meadows when he cruised through 6-2 7-5 6-3 on Wednesday night.

The Russian ace next meets Wu Yibing, who became the first Chinese man to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows after beating fellow qualifier Nuno Borges 6-7 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-4 6-4.

But there is no doubt he will also be casting his mind ahead to a likely meeting with the in-form Kyrgios, who beat Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 4-6 6-4 on Wednesday and must next overcome American wildcard JJ Wolf.

While Medvedev beat Kyrgios in the second round at the Australian Open early in the year, Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios has a 3-1 head to head career edge over him and beat him in three sets at the Canadian Open just three weeks ago.

The 26-year-old Medvedev is trying to become the first men's player to clinch consecutive US Open crowns since Roger Federer swept the tournament each year between 2004 and 2008.

He was happy to deflect title favouritism towards 22-time slam winner Rafael Nadal.

"First of all, I don't want to put pressure on anybody, but I think Rafa is a big favourite also," Medvedev told reporters.

"He won the last time he played here against me actually. He won two slams this year.

"He actually didn't lose in a grand slam this year. He retired (injured before his Wimbledon semi-final against Kyrgios), which is not the same.

"He's definitely a big figure in this tournament. "Being amongst the favourites just brings me more motivation to try to do well."

Earlier, former world No.1 Andy Murray survived a scare to beat American wildcard Emilio Nava 5-7 6-3 6-1 6-0, moving into the third round of a grand slam for only the second time in five years.

Ten years since he won his maiden grand slam at Flushing Meadows, Murray struggled with his first serve early against world No.203 Nava but grafted to victory.

"Physically this is the best I've felt in years ... I'm getting closer to where I want to be. Hopefully I can have a deep run here," said the remarkable Murray, who's playing with an artificial hip.

Murray faces a huge test next up against powerful 13th seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy who battled to down Hugo Grenier 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (9-7).

Australian 18th seed Alex de Minaur beat Chilean Cristian Garin 6-3 6-0 4-6 6-2 to reach the third round where he will meet Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, who was a 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5) winner over Alexander Bublik.

Britain's Jack Draper, ranked 53rd in the world, earned an impressive upset victory over Canadian sixth seed and last year's semi-finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime, winning 6-4 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round of a grand slam for the first time.

The 20-year-old Draper will take on Russian Karen Khachanov, who beat Thiago Monteiro of Brazil 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-4.

Fifth seed Casper Ruud also advanced after a 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Tim van Rijthoven and he will face American Tommy Paul.