Daniil Medvedev stormed past Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-1 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Monday, tying Roger Federer for the most tour-level wins this season.
“It was a good match. Of course, it is not easy to start the first match on clay,” said Medvedev. “You want to see how your practices have been going [and if] they worked out. In this moment I am happy with my performance but looking forward to the next matches because it is only the start.”
With an 18-6 record this year, the 10th seed joined Federer (18-2) atop the match-wins leaderboard after winning 83 per cent of first-serve points (15/18) against Sousa to advance after 54 minutes. Playing at a career-high No. 14 in the ATP Rankings this week, the 23-year-old Medvedev improves to 2-1 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with the Portuguese. Medvedev will meet Aljaz Bedene or Radu Albot for a spot in the third round.
“[Bedene and Albot] both like to play on clay, I think it is their favourite surface,” said Medvedev. “Both are all-around players. They don’t have one amazing shot, but are really solid. Radu has done a great first quarter of the year, so [it is] never going to be an easy match. But if I manage to hold my nerves like I did today and play strong and aggressive, I will have my chances.”
Last year’s Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato also advanced to the second round after Damir Dzumhur was forced to retire during the first set of their match. The Italian, who was leading Dzumhur 4-0, will need to bring his best level if he is to make further progress in the Principality. Cecchinato will next meet 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka in the second round.
Hungarian Marton Fucsovics scored his second victory in as many FedEx ATP Head2Head matches against Nikoloz Basilashvili. The Sofia Open finalist earned 20 break points en route to a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory and he will meet Adrian Mannarino or Cameron Norrie in the second round.
Source: ATP World Tour