Daniil Medvedev celebrated his rise to second in the world with a seamless entry into the Miami Open on Friday, trouncing Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun in less than an hour.
Russia’s Medvedev needed just 56 minutes to subdue Lu 6-2, 6-2, firing nine aces with just one double fault as he advanced to a third-round meeting with Australian Alexei Popyrin, a 6-4, 6-2, winner over 30th-seeded American Reilly Opelka.
Women’s world number two Naomi Osaka, seeded second behind top-ranked Australian Ashleigh Barty, had a tougher time, but conquered her nerves in her first match since winning the Australian Open to beat Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.
Men’s third seed Alexander Zverev, ranked seventh in the world, became the biggest upset victim so far in the prestigious ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tournament, falling 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 to 83rd-ranked Finn Emil Ruusuvuori.
Medvedev, the top seed in an ATP Masters event for the first time, was all over Lu from the opening game.
He belted 24 winners to become the second player — along with compatriot Andrey Rublev — to reach 15 match wins this year.
Runner-up to top-ranked Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, Medvedev ascended to No. 2 in the world when he lifted the ATP trophy in Marseille.
Medvedev became the first player outside the “Big Four” of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray to rank second in the world since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.
But he’s already looking for more.
“The only thing I feel like when you reach something you haven’t done then straight away it doesn’t matter and you want to go further and further,” he said. “I think it’s the same for everybody.
“I’m happy about my achievement but only trying to improve every day and want to go further.”
Zverev also arrived in Miami riding a wave of success, having captured the ATP title in Acapulco last week.
But Ruusuvuori, 21, rallied to claim one of the biggest wins of his career, turning the tables on Zverev with more aggressive tactics in the second set and posting the second win of his career over a top-10 player. (AFP)