Medvedev sharp in first-round rout at US Open

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NEW YORK — Daniil Medvedev sent an early message that this US Open might be more than a two-man race between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic.

The 2021 champion rolled into the second round Tuesday, beating Attila Balazs 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 in just 1 hour, 14 minutes.

About 12 hours after Djokovic won easily in his return to the US Open, the No. 3-seeded Medvedev looked just as impressive as when he beat Djokovic for the 2021 title to deny the 23-time major champion the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969.

Alcaraz, the No. 1 seed, is set to begin his title defense Tuesday night against Dominik Koepfer.

Alcaraz edged Djokovic for the title at Wimbledon, after Djokovic eliminated the Spaniard in the semifinals en route to the French Open title.

Medvedev certainly has the game to compete with either on the hard courts of the US Open, where the Russian was also the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2019 before winning his first major two years later.

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