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Medvedev overcomes Shevchenko to reach last 16 at Madrid Open

Mutua Madrid Open - Day Eight

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 01: Daniil Medvedev plays a backhand shot against Alexander Shevchenko during their Men’s Singles third round match on Day Eight of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 01, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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MADRID -- Daniil Medvedev had to come from a break down twice in the final set to reach the last 16 of the Madrid Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over Alexander Shevchenko.

“He played well. He’s young, so I’m sure he’s going to (move) up the rankings, especially if he plays like in this tournament,” Medvedev said of the 96th-ranked Shevchenko, who was making his main-draw debut in Madrid after coming through qualifying.

The victory takes Medvedev to a tour-best 33-4 record this season. He will next face either Alex de Minaur or Aslan Karatsev.

The 22-year-old Shevchenko, who appeared to struggle with cramps toward the end of the match, took a 5-1 lead in the first set but went down 5-0 in the second. He then led 2-0 and 4-2 in the decisive set.

“I feel like I played pretty well in the second and third sets, and maybe the end of the first,“ the third-ranked Medvedev said. “The thing about clay (is) usually it is tough for me to start matches for whatever reason. I need a lot of time to get used to everything that is happening on the court. The third set (I could) have been a bit better at crucial moments, or maybe a lot better. But finally I won, so that counts also.”

This is the first time Medvedev has won consecutive matches in Madrid.

Women’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek later faces 16th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova for a spot in the quarterfinals. Mirra Andreeva, the 16-year-old Russian, takes on second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka.

Mayar Sherif defeated 24th-seeded Elise Merten 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 to become the first Egyptian to reach the quarterfinals of a WTA 1000 tournament. Irina-Carnelia Begu upset 14th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova 6-4, 6-4 to earn her third win against a top-20 opponent in 2023. It will be her third quarterfinal appearance in Madrid.