Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal had comfortable victories on Wednesday at the Mexican Open, and a rematch of their epic five-set final at the Australian Open appears to be on the horizon.
Medvedev took another step toward the top spot in the ATP rankings with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 second-round triumph over Pablo Andujar, while Nadal cruised past Stefan Kozlov 6-0, 6-3.
If Medvedev defeats either Taylor Fritz or Yoshihito Nishioka in the quarterfinals and Nadal does the same versus Tommy Paul, the two players will meet again in the semifinals less than a month after the Spaniard rallied to win the final at Melbourne for his record 21st Grand Slam singles title.
Paul advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (6), 2-6, 7-5 win over Dusan Lajovic.
Medvedev, 26, is trying to replace Novak Djokovic atop the rankings and could achieve that goal if he wins the title in Acapulco.
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He needed just over an hour to beat Andujar the morning after defending champion Alexander Zverev was kicked out of the Mexican Open for violently smashing his racket on the umpire’s chair moments after losing a doubles match.
“If I do (reach No. 1), it is going to mean a lot, there would be a lot of statistics mentioned, since when this or since when that. … It’s going to be fun, but first I have to achieve it, it’s my main goal to win as many matches as possible in the next few weeks,” Medvedev said.
Medvedev beat Djokovic in the US Open final last September to win his first major title and, at his next Grand Slam event, reached the final at the Australian Open on Jan. 30 before losing to Nadal.
The 35-year-old Spaniard, who has acquired three times in Acapulco — 2005, 2013 and 2020 — has a 12-0 record in 2022 and needed 1 hour, 16 minutes to beat Kozlov, who entered the draw as a lucky loser.
Also on Wednesday, Marcos Giron beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4) and is waiting for the outcome of the late match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and J.J. Wolf.
Also, Cameron Norrie beast John Isner 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4 and will next play Peter Gojowczyk, who entered the draw as a lucky loser and qualified for the quarterfinals without playing after Zverev was thrown out of the tournament. The Mexican Open is played on the hard courts of the Arena GNP in Acapulco.
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