US Open: It's tough to beat me – Medvedev confident as second seed chases first slam

By Sports Desk September 05, 2021

Daniil Medvedev said "it's tough to beat me" as the confident and in-form world number two took another step towards his maiden grand slam crown at the US Open.

Medvedev advanced to the quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 6-3 victory over 24th seed Dan Evans in New York on Sunday.

US Open finalist in 2019 and Australian Open runner-up this year, Russian star Medvedev is yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows this week.

As Dutch qualifier Botic Van De Zandschulp awaits, Medvedev discussed expectations at the US Open in pursuit of his first major title.

"I always say I take it match by match," Medvedev told reporters after hitting 42 winners in one hour, 43 minutes. "You can lose first round, you can lose final. If I play good, I know what I'm capable of. It's tough to beat me.

"In Wimbledon, I was honest, I lost against a great player, Hubert is playing great. I think he's on the rise. He's going to be even better ranked and maybe he's gonna go further in slams. He beat Roger [Federer] after me.

"But again, I was not talking about match itself where the loss was okay, I would say. I was talking about the result in general, and fourth round is not enough for number two in the world, especially I like grass more than clay, so maybe on clay I would not say this.

"Yeah, it's the same every tournament. If you're top seed, if you are not in the final, let's say Cincinnati, I lost against Rublev, brutal match, really strong play from him. But if you talk about the result itself, semi-final was not good enough.

"There is not much to add. I want to win every tournament I play in, without putting pressure on myself. Because again, I know how to win matches, and I know sometimes why I lose them, so that's just learning and being better for the next time."

Medvedev is 31-5 on hard courts in 2021 and 162-61 in his career, while he has won 11 of his 12 ATP titles on hard courts.

The 25-year-old owns a 17-4 record (80.95 per cent) at the US Open – his most wins and highest win percentage at a grand slam event.

"Feeling great before the second week," Medvedev said. "Feeling great with my tennis, my mental, my physical. Just looking forward."

Medvedev, who lost a thrilling US Open final to Rafael Nadal two years ago, added: "Now I just want to make it to the finals again to have another thing to remember and hopefully a better one."

Related items

  • Embiid struggles as Rivers says 'number one' goal is to get Sixers star firing again Embiid struggles as Rivers says 'number one' goal is to get Sixers star firing again

    Joel Embiid admitted his shooting was way off where it should be as the Philadelphia 76ers star warned his COVID-19 road to recovery could be a long one.

    Coach Doc Rivers is braced for the possibility there could be more tough nights to come for Embiid after he struggled in an 88-87 defeat to the Boston Celtics.

    MVP runner-up Embiid had a double-double of 13 points and 18 rebounds, but he was just three-of-17 shooting.

    His points tally was his lowest in a game this season, and Embiid's average of 22.0 points is way down on last term, when he averaged 28.5 over 51 games.

    He has plenty of time to get that figure up, but Embiid is working his way back from a nine-game coronavirus lay-off, and despite scoring 42 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves in his comeback game, he has followed 16 against the Orlando Magic with another disappointing performance.

    "I would never use it as an excuse, but obviously I think it's going to take me a while to get back, especially legs and cardio and all that stuff," said Embiid.

    "But every single day I've got to keep working hard, and keep getting better. I can't be playing the way I've played in these last two games, especially when it comes to shot-making.

    "If teams are going to double me and I'm not going to get easy baskets, I have to create for myself and my team-mates, and I've got to make those shots."

    The Sixers (11-11) head to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and then travel to tackle the Charlotte Hornets in two games early next week.

    Rivers can see Embiid is not quite himself on the court, but the coach sees no other way through the situation that continuing to play and support his Cameroonian star.

    "We've got to get Joel going – number one," Rivers said. "We get him going, the whole team gets going. That's the number one thing.

    "But that's two games in a row I thought the offense was lacklustre. Execution is really bad right now. But, again, I'm not concerned by it. We're going to get through it. It's just that we're dropping games while we're getting through it."

    The Sixers shot just 8-of-31 from three-point range and were 33-for-89 overall, Seth Curry leading scorers with 17 points.

    Rivers appreciates Embiid is lacking rhythm, but the coach cannot put a finger on quite why it is the case.

    "Everybody with COVID, I just don't know those answers," Rivers said. "Some guys come back quickly and play pretty well, a lot of guys have played the one great game when they're back and then they've gone into a little fog.

    "You could tell he's definitely struggling getting going. We've just got to keep playing him and let him play through it."

  • Cy Young winner Ray ready to bring World Series to Mariners Cy Young winner Ray ready to bring World Series to Mariners

    Seattle Mariners recruit Robbie Ray said he is ready to bring a World Series to the franchise following his unveiling on Wednesday.

    After capping a career year with the American League (AL) Cy Young Award, Ray opted to leave the Toronto Blue Jays for the Mariners in free agency.

    Ray signed a five-year, $115million contract in Seattle, where the 2017 All-Star will headline their rotation after his breakout year in Toronto.

    "This team, the city is hungry for a World Series," Ray said during his introductory news conference midweek – the Mariners have never won the World Series or an AL pennant.

    "To be a part of it and bring it back right here, I just wanted to be here."

    Ray enjoyed a stellar campaign for the Blue Jays, who narrowly missed out on the MLB playoffs despite a 91-win season.

    The 30-year-old boasted a 2.84 ERA – the best among qualifiers in the AL, having come off a 6.62 ERA last year.

    Ray – acquired by the Blue Jays in 2020 – led the AL in ERA-plus (154) and WHIP (1.045), while striking out an MLB-best 248 batters in 32 starts.

    "It just seemed like a really good fit and we were ready to move forward," Ray said of joining the Mariners. "I mean, it happened really quickly, but we're glad that it did."

    "I've always had the mindset of going out and attacking. But it didn't necessarily match up with the delivery," Ray said. "This year, I feel like I really nailed that down and I feel really good about the consistency of the delivery. That consistency, matched with that mindset, I feel like is what allowed me to succeed this year."

    Seattle's president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto added: "I think that's one of the main attractions for us is we want to be the team where, when other teams are coming to Seattle to play us, they look at the three pitchers or the four pitchers that are lined up for that series and they say, 'Oh man'".

  • Mourinho suggests Roma's Zaniolo leaves Serie A Mourinho suggests Roma's Zaniolo leaves Serie A

    Roma head coach Jose Mourinho suggested for Nicolo Zaniolo to start thinking about a move away from Serie A as he vented his frustration with refereeing in Italy's top flight.

    Mourinho watched on as fifth-placed Roma suffered a 1-0 defeat at Bologna in Serie A action on Wednesday.

    Roma boss Mourinho was agitated post-match after star forward Tammy Abraham and full-back Rick Karsdorp were both ruled out of Saturday's clash against reigning champions Inter due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

    Zaniolo – who is yet to score in Serie A this term, though he has managed two goals in the Europa Conference League – was also booked for diving

    "I'll have to invent the line-up on Saturday," Mourinho told DAZN following the fixture as he turned his attention to 22-year-old Italian forward Zaniolo, who sat out the entire 2020-21 campaign due to another anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

    "Luckily, I replaced [Gianluca] Mancini. Otherwise, he may have been booked too.

    "I will finish with one observation. I want to say something that probably goes against my interests: if I were Nicolo Zaniolo, I would start thinking that perhaps playing in Serie A means things will be stacked against me."

    This was former Inter coach Mourinho's first defeat against Emilian teams in Serie A – the Portuguese before Wednesday's match had a record of four wins in as many games against Bologna.

    Roma have gained 25 points in their first 15 league matches. In the last 10 Serie A seasons, including the current campaign, only in 2018-19 have they claimed fewer points after 15 matches (21).

    "Credit to Sinisa [Mihajlovic] and Bologna, they played a great game. But credit to my players too. They gave it their all against everything and everyone," said Mourinho.

    "Injuries before the game, injuries during the game, 'hidden' injuries to players who played the full 90 minutes. Then there were a few incidents but my players kept fighting.

    "I am proud of these guys, I don't have negative feelings towards them."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.