Medvedev rallies to reach last 16 at Madrid Open

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MADRID — Daniil Medvedev had to come from a break down twice in the final set to reach the last 16 of the Madrid Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over fellow Russian Alexander Shevchenko on Monday.

“He played well. He’s young, so I’m sure he’s going to [move] up the rankings, especially if he plays like in this tournament,” Medvedev said of the 96th-ranked Shevchenko, who was making his main-draw debut in Madrid after coming through qualifying.

The victory takes Medvedev to a tour-best 33-4 record this season. He will next face either Alex de Minaur or Aslan Karatsev.

The 22-year-old Shevchenko, who appeared to struggle with cramps toward the end of the match, took a 5-1 lead in the first set but went down 5-0 in the second. He then led 2-0 and 4-2 in the decisive set.

“I feel like I played pretty well in the second and third sets, and maybe the end of the first,” the third-ranked Medvedev said. “The thing about clay [is] usually it is tough for me to start matches for whatever reason. I need a lot of time to get used to everything that is happening on the court. The third set [I could] have been a bit better at crucial moments, or maybe a lot better. But finally I won, so that counts also.”

This is the first time Medvedev has won consecutive matches in Madrid.

Women’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek later faces 16th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova for a spot in the quarterfinals. Mirra Andreeva, the 16-year-old Russian, takes on second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka.

Mayar Sherif defeated 24th-seeded Elise Merten 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 to become the first Egyptian to reach the quarterfinals of a WTA 1000 tournament. Irina-Camelia Begu upset 14th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova 6-4, 6-4 to earn her third win against a top-20 opponent in 2023. It will be her third quarterfinal appearance in Madrid.

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