The former world number one Daniil Medvedev began his 2023 singles campaign on Tuesday by facing a tough workout from Lorenzo Sonego. Sonego pressed Medvedev hard, and Medvedev eventually left Adelaide International with a broken arm.
On Monday, Medvedev and fellow Russian Andrey Rublev lost a doubles match, giving him a chance to improve after losing four consecutive matches in 2022.
However, the 45th-ranked player in the world, Sonego, did not give him a free pass. The Italian pulled the pin with a problem with his right arm and saved an incredible nine set points before winning 7-6 (8/6), 2-1).
World number seven stated, “I didn’t know it was nine set points, that’s crazy and probably the first time in my life I’ve saved nine set points.”
“What a match to kick off the year! It’s unfortunate for everyone that it ended so early, even though we played for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
After suffering a demoralizing five-set defeat from two sets up against Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2021 US Open, Medvedev is getting ready for another shot at the Australian Open.
In their very first gathering, he and Sonego measured each other up in a nine-minute opening game with the large Italian holding.
In game three, Medvedev’s relentless baseline play cost him two break points, but he was unable to convert them.
In the eighth game, Sonego stopped another, but in game nine, the Russian had to work hard to save six set points after a series of unusual unforced errors.
In the subsequent match, he saved three more set points and won the tiebreak after an 80-minute set.
They took breaks in the second set, but Sonego called the trainer and retired after receiving treatment for his right arm.
After being greeted with a hero’s welcome when he played a losing doubles match on an outside court on Monday, Novak Djokovic will make his debut in the singles later on Tuesday.
It was his first match in Australia since being banned from returning for three years and deported prior to the 2022 Australian Open for not having been vaccinated against Covid.
However, the boycott was lifted in November and he took on Frenchman Steady Lestienne to start arrangements for a slant at a tenth Australian Open title.
Djokovic, who was 19 at the time, won 21 major titles before beating Chris Guccione in the 2007 Adelaide final and beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the first time at the Australian Open a year later.
Andy Murray and Victoria Azarenka, two former Grand Slam champions, also compete on Tuesday.
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