World number 35 and the 8th seed Daniil Medvedev has made a great start at home in St. Petersburg, defeating Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-1 in 67 minutes for his 30th win of the season. The Russian was untouchable on his first serve and despite having problems after missing it he managed to save five out of six break points to limit the damage in his games.
On the other hand, Sousa lost almost 50% of the points behind his initial shot, unable to match the pace of his rival from the baseline and getting broken on all four chances he gave to Medvedev to end his run in the opening round.
The youngster drew first blood with a return winner in the second game but he stayed in front only for a few minutes, suffering a break in the following game when Sousa forced a forehand error. The Russian fends off two break points in the fifth game after a 28-shot rally and a backhand winner, having to do the same at 4-4 when he blasted two service winners to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard.
After missing his chances, Sousa lost four points in a row in the next game, handing the set to his rival after a routine forehand error that stole all the momentum from him. Medvedev held at the start of the second set with a service winner and he broke Joao in the following game when he netted another forehand.
The Russian saved a break point in game three with another unreturned serve and it was all over after another break in the next game that sent him 4-0 up. A forehand winner pushed Medvedev over the top in the seventh game and he will try to repeat this performance in the next rounds as well, especially if he finds the way to defend the second serve in a more efficient way. First round results: