Melbourne, Australia, Jan 18 (EFE).- Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev convincingly beat Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen and the Italian Gianluca Mager in the first round of the Australian Open; while Norway’s Casper Ruud retired before his match against Slovakia’s Alex Molcan due to injury.
No. 2 seed Medvedev beat Laaksonen 6-1, 6-3 and 7-6(3) while No. 5 seed Rublev won 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2.
Young Italian Jannik Sinner was also the favorite and beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa, 6-4, 7-5 and 6-1.
Medevdev, current champion of the United States Open and finalist in Melbourne Park, made an impressive debut, cementing his status as a great favorite after the deportation of Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.
“He was playing amazing so I had to be patient. I like the pressure, last year it started well here in Australia after winning the ATP Cup and reaching the final here,” Medvedev said after his match.
The Muscovite, who reached the second round for the fifth consecutive year, could face Nick Kyrgios next, if the Australian beats English qualifier Liam Broady in his debut.
His compatriot Rublev did not hesitate either in his first match after making 33 winners and 13 unforced errors, which contrasted with the 22 and 37 of his rival.
Rublev, who fell in the quarterfinals last year, played his 50th match in Grand Slam competition.
His next rival will be either Roberto Carballes or Ricardas Berankis.
No. 8 seed Casper Ruud, announced in a press conference prior to his match that he would not be able to play after spraining his ankle in a training sessions prior to his match. EFE