Defending champion Daniil Medvedev cruised into the fourth round of the U.S. Open with a straightforward 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Chinese qualifier Wu Yibing on Friday to set up a blockbuster clash with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.
The Russian blazed past Stefan Kozlov and Arthur Rinderknech in the last two rounds and looked every bit the champion again, as he fired 12 aces and converted six out of 12 break points to comfortably dispatch his 22-year-old opponent.
Medvedev’s win in front of an emotional Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd following Serena Williams’ loss to Ajla Tomljanovic meant he has reached the round of 16 at Flushing Meadows for the fourth straight year.
Wu, who became the first Chinese man in U.S. Open history to reach the third round, was plagued by several unforced errors in the clash as Medvedev prevailed in an hour and 55 minutes.
After sealing a closely-contested first set, Medvedev broke early and raced ahead 5-1 in the next and closed it out in style to take full control of the contest.
The third set followed a similar pattern as Wu crumbled under the relentless pressure as Medvedev completed the win to stay on course to become the first player to win consecutive U.S. Open titles since Roger Federer’s run of five between 2004-08.
But a defeat to Kyrgios in the next round would see Medvedev lose his number one ranking to Rafa Nadal after the tournament.
“We’ve played great matches. All have been quite tight on the scoreboard,” Medvedev, who has lost three out of his four previous meetings with Kyrgios, said.
“It’s 3-1 to him but I’ll try to do better this time and it’ll be a great match for people to watch.”