Roger Federer not making light of Daniil Medvedev's flair

MIAMI • Roger Federer may have beaten Daniil Medvedev twice last year, but the Swiss great still expects a tough match against the "clever" Russian when they meet in the Miami Open this morning (Singapore time).

The world No. 5 produced an excellent all-round performance in dispatching Serbia's Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-3 on Monday, despite being tested by the world No. 103 during an exciting first set.

Federer, however, weathered the storm to seal the win - the 52nd of his career in Miami - and set up a quarter-final clash against the highly rated Medvedev.

His next opponent, who is at a career-high ranking of 15th, saw off American Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-0) on Monday and has won four ATP hard-court titles, including three since last August.

Despite his perfect head-to-head record against Medvedev, Federer is a big fan of the 23-year-old.

"He's clever how he plays the court because he can play it up and down, and he's unusual when he plays from the back," said the 20-time major winner.

"It's a bit of a different approach. Thankfully, I played him last year twice in Basel and Shanghai, and I'm very impressed about his progress. I must say the last year has been unbelievable for him."

In the women's draw, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova both remained in contention to overtake Japanese Naomi Osaka as world No. 1 after booking their places in the quarter-finals.

If Halep takes the title, or she reaches the final and Kvitova does not triumph, then she will reclaim the position she once held for a total of 64 weeks.

And, in defeating Venus Williams, the French Open champion would face China's Wang Qiang today.

The 27-year-old Halep has now won her last four meetings against Williams and, after her 6-3, 6-3 victory, she declared she was "really happy with her game".

Czech Kvitova, whose knife-wielding attacker in 2016 - 33-year-old Radim Zondra - was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday, will play Australian Ashleigh Barty today after beating France's Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-3.



Day 8: StarHub Ch201, tomorrow, 3am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2019, with the headline 'Federer not making light of Medvedev's flair'. Subscribe