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Tennis-Medvedev faces tactical test against Cressy

Randy Mancini 2 Jan 23
FILE PHOTO: Australian Open
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 22, 2022 Russia's Daniil Medvedev waves at fans as he walks off the court after winning his third round match against Netherlands' Botic van de Zandschulp REUTERS/Loren Elliott

January 23, 2022

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – World number two Daniil Medvedev reaffirmed his Australian Open title credentials with a crushing win over Botic van de Zandschulp in the third round, but the Russian will face a very different test against Maxime Cressy on Monday.

Medvedev will start as favourite against the unseeded American but the U.S. Open champion must find a way to combat Cressy’s brand of serve-and-volley tennis, which proved highly effective against Christopher O’Connell in the previous round.

“(Cressy) started this year with a final, now he’s in the fourth round of a Slam. (He’s) going to be pretty confident. We’ll have to prepare well tactically, mentally. I heard he serves pretty well,” Medvedev said on Saturday.

Among the women, former French Open champion Iga Swiatek and second seed Aryna Sabalenka could set up a quarter-final clash with wins over Sorana Cirstea and Kaia Kanepi respectively, while twice major winner Simona Halep takes on Alize Cornet.

Local hopes rest on Alex de Minaur, the only Australian left in the men’s singles draw, as he plays 11th seed Jannik Sinner on Rod Laver Arena following his impressive win over Pablo Andujar.

The winner of that match could meet world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is drawn against 20th seed Taylor Fritz, while former finalist Marin Cilic goes up against Felix Auger-Aliassime in his bid to reach a first Grand Slam quarter-final in over three years.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)