Daniil Medvedev survives heat, first round at Australian Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 15 Jan, 2024 at 05:57 AM

Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Third-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev overcame sweltering heat to pick up a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 1-0 victory by retirement over French qualifier Terence Atmane on Sunday in first-round action of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Medvedev, who was bounced in the third round of the 2023 Australian Open after making the final in each of the previous two years, was forced to contend with temperatures in the mid-80s, which were eventually too much for Atmane to handle.

Atmane dealt with severe cramping and had a hard time moving because of it, forcing him to retire.

"When I started to feel tough physically, he started cramping, so it was brutal conditions," Medvedev said. "I've been here for seven days and it hasn't been hot, and now it was hot for the first match. I was getting tired, but many times in these situations the other guy is getting tired too, and it's about who manages it better."

Medvedev had 42 winners to Atmane's 36 and won 39 of 54 first-service points.

Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli and No. 18 seed Nicolas Jarry of Chile saw their match eclipse the four-hour mark, with Cobolli pulling off the 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 upset. Cobolli racked up 14 aces.

Other seeded players in action had little trouble advancing to the second round, as 16th-seeded American Ben Shelton ousted Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-6 (2), 7-5 and Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, the No. 25 seed, beat Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-2.

No. 29 Sebastian Korda of the United States also won, edging Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2 in a match that originally had the makings of a sweep.

Spanish 23rd seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina was able to get the job done in straight sets, though, cruising past France's Constant Lestienne 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

In other action Sunday, French lucky loser Hugo Gaston defeated Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain, Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori downed American wild card Patrick Kypson and Alexei Popyrin got the best of wild card Marc Polmans in a battle of Australians.

Sunday ET late matches not included.

--Field Level Media