French Open: Daniil Medvedev beats Miomir Kecmanovic to continue fine form

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev impressed with the level of his display on clay in his latest win
French Open 2022
Dates: 22 May-5 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Daniil Medvedev continued his impressive form as he picked apart Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the fourth round of the French Open without dropping set.

The second seed was relentless and inventive throughout a 6-2 6-4 6-2 win over the Serb 28th seed.

He found 42 winners on Court Suzanne Lenglen, including a forehand pass while on the move on match point.

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas thrashed Mikael Ymer 6-2 6-2 6-1 in 92 minutes.

Medvedev eyes return to the top spot

Medvedev is targeting a return to the world number one spot, after his previous time at the top ended after just two weeks earlier in 2022.

Following his comfortable win over Kecmanovic, the Russian revealed he had Googled the shortest reigns in the men's game and was surprised by the results.

"The first I saw was Pat Rafter being there for one week, and he's an absolute legend, and Carlos Moya was somewhere there," said Medvedev, 26.

"I didn't know these stats, and if somebody asked me how long were Rafter and Moya number one, I'd say, 'I don't know, six months, one year?'

"So it's something nobody can take away from me. Not that many players could take it while they play tennis. It's a great motivation to try to come back there."

Medvedev's quest to return to the top of the world rankings could be hampered by the fact Russian players have been banned from UK grass-court tournaments, including Wimbledon, because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, the ATP's decision to strip ranking points from Wimbledon because of the ban could in fact result in Medvedev regaining the top ranking because Serbia's Novak Djokovic will be unable to retain the 2,000 ranking points he earned by winning the Wimbledon title last year and so he could be overtaken by the Russian.

"We won't know how this Wimbledon thing [will affect it], but I want to try to make the best results possible, starting from here," said Medvedev, who could meet 2021 runner-up Tsitsipas at the semi-final stage at Roland Garros.

Medvedev's best run at Roland Garros was a quarter-final last year but he looks more at ease on clay - his least favourite surface - than ever before.

"Medvedev is world number two and he is playing like that sort of ranking," said 5 Live Sports Extra commentator David Law.

"He would still be behind others in the pecking order of favourites - Djokovic, Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz - but he doesn't have to worry about them until the final.

"He might be the man who goes all the way to the final."

Medvedev had arrived at the French Open with only one match on clay under his belt after having a procedure to treat a hernia in April.

Here - against a highly capable opponent in Kecmanovic - he landed two breaks in the opening set and one in the second to open up a cushion.

By the third set he was finding drop shots and eye-catching angles, none more so than when he whipped a low forehand crosscourt at 1-1 as he set up a comfortable win.

Simon says goodbye and Tsitsipas eases through

Medvedev's opponent in the fourth round will be Marin Cilic, after the Croat defeated France's Gilles Simon in straight sets.

Cilic, seeded 20th, won 6-0 6-3 6-2 to knock out 37-year-old Simon, playing in his final French Open as a wildcard following his announcementexternal-link that he will retire in 2022.

Gilles Simon
Gilles Simon was presented with a trophy after the end of his match against Marin Cilic to mark his final appearance at Roland Garros

Tsitsipas had few problems dealing with the world number 95 Ymer, who had beaten Britain's Dan Evans in the second round.

The 23-year-old Greek player's only moment of concern was when he was a break point down at 3-0 up in the third set, but the Swede failed to take advantage and Tsitsipas quickly wrapped up the match.

He will face unseeded Holger Rune of Denmark, who qualified for the fourth round of the French Open at the first attempt when he beat France's Hugo Gaston 6-3 6-3 6-3.

In the bottom half of the draw, seventh seed Andrey Rublev beat Cristian Garin 6-4 3-6 6-2 7-6 (13-11).

The 24-year-old Russian has not gone past the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam in his career to date.

He will get the chance to reach the last eight when he plays Italian 11th seed Jannik Sinner - who beat American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Norway's number eight seed Casper Ruud fought back from two-sets-to-one down to beat Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 1-6 6-4 6-3 in an entertaining match that lasted just short of three-and-a-half hours.

Ruud will be in the fourth round at Roland-Garros for the first time, and will play Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, who beat David Goffin of Belgium 7-5 6-2 6-1.

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