Top seed Daniil Medvedev defeated Ilya Ivashka 7-6(4), 6-3 at the ATP 500 event in Halle Open here on Thursday.
Medvedev was pleased to prevail in another high-quality clash with Belarusian Ivashka, who was aiming to reach his fourth quarterfinal of the season on the Halle grass.
The Russian backed up his straight-sets quarterfinal win over the World No. 42 Ivashka at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week with a victory.
However, it was by no means plain sailing for the World No. 1, who fended off three set points at 4-5 in the opening set before going on to clinch it in a tie-break. Things were more comfortable for Medvedev in the second set, when a series of finely-crafted passing shots were the highlight as he wrapped up a one-hour, 36-minute victory to improve his career match record on grass to 30-15.
Medvedev will now face seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut or qualifier Tallon Griekspoor in his maiden quarterfinal appearance in Halle.
“He is a great player,” said the 26-year-old after he improved his lead in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series to 3-1.
“He had a lot of bad luck with injuries at the beginning of the season. At the end of last season he was playing really great tennis. I’ve known him since I was very young, we actually played (each other) in Futures, Challengers, and on the ATP Tour. He beat me once in Davis Cup, which is a really important tournament. So he knows how to play tennis, he knows how to play well on grass, so I’m really happy that two times in a row I managed to pass a tough test,” he said.
(Inputs from IANS)