Daniil Medvedev said on Wednesday he was happy to be flying under the radar at the Australian Open as he stepped up his bid to reach a third consecutive Melbourne final.
The Russian overcame a partisan crowd and tough veteran John Millman 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena to reach round three.
The seventh seed, who lost the 2021 decider to Novak Djokovic and then against Rafael Nadal last year, meets American Sebastian Korda next.
Medvedev is on the same side of the draw as Nadal and was scheduled to meet him in the last eight.
But with the Spaniard’s shock defeat Wednesday to Mackenzie McDonald, his route to a third straight final has opened up.
“For sure the most important is to focus on yourself because, well, that’s the only way how you can win,” he said.
“Novak can lose. Rafa can lose. Stefanos (Tsitsipas) can lose. But if you lose too, it doesn’t matter that they lose.
“It’s normal when we have Rafa and Novak that all the attention comes to them. That’s completely normal,” he said.
“I can only try to play good. It’s true that I made the finals two last times playing here, so I’m feeling good to play in Australia and looking forward to play some more matches this year.”
The Russian dropped just three games in a demolition of Marcos Giron in the first round, but met stiffer resistance initially from Millman, with plenty of long rallies.
They went toe-to-toe in the first set with both players struggling on serve, before the world number eight broke for a fourth time to seal the set.
Medvedev moved up a gear in the second set, and when Millman netted a backhand to give him a 2-1 advantage, the Russian put his foot to the floor to take full control.
There was no way back for the Australian, with Medvedev in the zone as he raced to victory.
“Physically for both of us it was tough,” said Medvedev, who is bidding to become just the fourth man in the Open era to reach three consecutive Australian Open finals, after Djokovic, Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl.
“But I felt amazing.”