Medvedev marches into second round of Australian Open

Daniil Medvedev launched his bid for a maiden Australian Open title with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Henri Laaksonen.

Daniil Medvedev brushed aside Henri Laaksonen with ease in the second round of the Australian Open.   -  AP

Daniil Medvedev launched his bid for a maiden Australian Open title on Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) romp over Swiss battler Henri Laaksonen.

US Open champion Medvedev, favourite to win at Melbourne Park in the wake of Novak Djokovic’s deportation, was in cruise control for two sets against World No. 91 Laaksonen before being dragged into a proper dog-fight in the third set.

ALSO READ - Djokovic ‘lucky loser’ Caruso out in first round

Finland-born Laaksonen produced scintillating tennis to keep in touch with Medvedev in the tiebreak before faltering with a pair of unforced errors that gave the Russian three match points.

Medvedev sealed the win on the first of them and will play the winner of Nick Kyrgios and Liam Broady for a place in the third round.

"I like pressure," Medvedev said.

"Always want to do better than I did last year (but) it's not going to be easy."

No. 5 Andrey Rublev beat Gianluca Mager 6-3, 6-,2 6-2, No. 11 Jannik Sinner beat Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5, 6-1, No. 13 Diego Schwartzman beat Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 to advance along with No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 27 Marin Cilic.

(With inputs from AP)

Casper Ruud pulls out

World No. 8 Casper Ruud withdrew from the Australian Open on Tuesday, just hours before his first match at the year's opening Grand Slam, after sustaining an ankle injury in practice. 'Lucky loser' Roman Safiullin replaced the Norwegian in the draw and will take on Slovak Alex Molcan later on Tuesday.

"Two days ago in practice I rolled or twisted my ankle," said Ruud. "I tried everything I could to be ready, but unfortunately I've decided that I'm not 100 percent and I will not be able to play like I have to, to compete at this level.

"I tried to play a little bit yesterday and today to see how it feels. Unfortunately there were no improvements today ... The plan is obviously to rest."

Ruud reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year before retiring with an abdominal injury against Andrey Rublev. The 23-year-old's absence will open up his quarter of the draw, with 11th seed Jannik Sinner of Italy favourite to reach the quarterfinals while Andy Murray, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Alex De Minaur will also see an opportunity to go deeper.

Ruud's withdrawal means the men's draw lost two of the top eight seeds before they played a match, with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic deported from Australia after losing a court case to have his visa cancellation overturned.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :