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Love 15: Medvedev’s winning run continues 

  • Dan Imhoff

Daniil Medvedev’s numbers are daunting for prospective spoilers at this year’s Australian Open, following the Russian’s 15th straight win on Tuesday.

Ten top-10 victims in a row, nine of those as part of his current unbeaten run.

MORE: All the scores from Day 2 at AO 2021

Now world No.61 Vasek Pospisil joins a growing list after a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 6-4 walloping in the opening round.

The Canadian was earmarked as a dangerous first assignment for AO 2021, having beaten the fourth seed last year in Rotterdam.

While Medvedev led the pair’s head-to-head ledger 2-1, he only narrowly won 7-6(7) 7-5 in Shanghai in 2019 and in Vienna last October in three sets.

The confidence the world No.4 had built since, however, was telling at Melbourne Park as he romped through in one hours and 47 minutes.

The signs were ominous coming in. Pospisil had found form to round out 2020 with a runner-up appearance to Jannik Sinner in Sofia, but it paled in significance to Medvedev’s back-to-back titles at the Paris Masters and ATP Finals.

Then came Russia’s maiden ATP Cup triumph at Melbourne Park only last week.

Medvedev combined with Andrey Rublev to blitz the field before them.

Four wins from four matches, and only Alexander Zverev was capable of stealing a set from him.

F_Medvedev_Day 2_09022021_03
Medvedev faced few pressure moments in extending his imposing streak

“Yeah, to be honest it’s good in a way we didn’t lose a match [in ATP Cup] but on the other side we finished on Sunday – a lot of tough matches against top-10 opponents – so I didn’t know how I was going to feel physically,” Medvedev said. 

“Happy that I managed to finish it fast. Feeling good, let’s see how I go after.”

A break of Pospisil’s opening serve set the tone early, and when a double fault handed the Russian a double break for 4-1, he coasted to the opening set on a pair of comfortable holds.

A former world No.25 and Grand Slam doubles champion, Pospisil was not afraid to come to net, and it was a strategy which had worked wonders for him in their previous clashes.

The tactic failed to make inroads on Tuesday, however, as he pushed a net-rushing forehand long to surrender the double break in the second set.

In cruise control and with a two-set lead in the bag, Medvedev suffered a momentary distraction at 1-2 in the third, when he called for the trainer to pad his shoe.

“There’s something inside my sock,” he told the trainer. “I don’t see anything, but it’s quite painful.”

There was nothing painful about his play.

He landed the only break of the fourth set at 4-all and served it out without fuss – three match points rustled up, only one needed.

“Vasek can play really good tennis. He told me after the match he didn’t have the best preparation … he hurt his back for a few days and was not practising,” Medvedev said.

“When you don’t play for three weeks it’s tough to show your best tennis so I was lucky in this way, but I knew I had to go out here and win this match because that’s my job.”