Defending champion pulls out of Sydney in order to prepare for Melbourne

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Defending champion pulls out of Sydney in order to prepare for Melbourne

The world no. 16 Daniil Medvedev has made stellar progress in the last 12 months, entering Playford Challenger 12 months ago from outside the top-60 and winning the first ATP title already in the second week of the year in Sydney as a qualifier ranked 84th, edging Alex de Minaur in the title match and never looking back, scoring the most wins on hard court on the entire Tour and finishing in the top-20 after adding trophies from Winston-Salem and Tokyo to his cabinet as well.

The 22-year-old Russian won 43 matches in the season behind us and he has made a rock solid start of 2019 campaign as well, reaching the final in Brisbane after three wins over prominent rivals before he lost to Kei Nishikori, missing a chance to lift his fourth ATP crown and the second on the Australian soil.

In the opening match, Medvedev took down a former champion Andy Murray before defeating another one in the quarters, prevailing against Milos Raonic in two hours and nine minutes after saving all eight break points he faced.

In the semi-final, Daniil performed well against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a 7-6, 6-2 win, entering his fifth ATP final but losing it to Kei Nishikori in three sets despite a solid effort. It was another two-hour match and the Russian has decided to withdraw from this week's ATP 250 event in Sydney where he was the defending champion and the 2nd seed behind Stefanos Tsitsipas.

This move was rather expected and the youngster will take a few days off before he starts preparing for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne that kicks off on Monday.

“I am very disappointed not to defend my Sydney title but I had a big week in Brisbane and I need to take a couple of days to recover and prepare for the Australian Open.

As my first ATP title, Sydney will always be special to me and I’m excited to come back and play there again in the future."