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Tennis-Medvedev beats Paire to kick off quest for world No. 1 ranking

Randy Mancini 5 Feb 22
ATP 500 - Abierto Mexicano
Tennis - ATP 500 - Abierto Mexicano - The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico - February 22, 2022 Russia's Daniil Medvedev in action during his match against France's Benoit Paire REUTERS/Henry Romero

February 23, 2022

(Reuters) – Daniil Medvedev battled past Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4 in the first round of the Abierto Mexicano tournament in Acapulco on Tuesday to get his quest for the world number one ranking off to a winning start.

The contest looked like it would be a one-sided affair when Paire dumped a lifeless forehand into the net to hand Medvedev the first set in 51 minutes.

But Paire flexed his muscle in the second, attacking the Russian’s serve to race out to a 4-2 lead.

Medvedev kept his focus and outworked the Frenchman in a back-and-forth deuce game to level at 4-4 and sealed the win when Paire’s backhand sailed into the net on a warm night in the coastal resort town.

Top-seeded Medvedev is looking to ascend to the world number one ranking for his first time by taking the position over from Novak Djokovic, who is competing at the Dubai Championships.

Djokovic will be forced to relinquish the crown even if he wins Dubai for a sixth time, provided the Russian wins the ATP 500 event in Acapulco, where he is making his tournament debut.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)