Daniil Medvedev had a tough few months behind him, losing the last 8 matches he played (won just 1 set) and entering his home event in a poor form. Still, he managed to outclass both the back pain and Andrey Kuznetsov today to reach the second round, prevailing against his compatriot by 6-4 2-6 7-6 in 2 hours and 6 minutes. Thanks to that second set, Andrey finished the match with 6 points more than his rival but he let the early lead in the final set to slip away from him, breaking under the pressure in the tie break as well.
Medvedev saved 8 out of 11 break points, which helped him to stay in touch, and he broke Kuznetsov twice from 6 opportunities. The first set was decided in game 3 when Andrey sent a forehand long to get broken, with no chance to pull it back by the end of the set.
He raised his game in the second set and broke his rival in the second game to move in front. Daniil struggled more and more and he lost serve again in game 8 after a double fault, forcing to play a decider if he wanted to reach the second round and collect some valuable points in the U21 Race to Milan.
Kuznetsov saved 4 break points at the start of the final set and he broke Medvedev in the next game with a backhand winner. Daniil kept fighting despite the pain and he pulled the break back in game 5, thanks to a double fault from Kuznetsov.
The tie break was very intense and it was Medvedev who crossed the finish line first, converting his 3rd match point to win the breaker by 8-6 and move to the next round. Wednesdays's results: