Daniil Medvedev’s title defense continued on Wednesday as the top-ranked Russian powered through with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 victory over France’s Arthur Rinderknech.
Medvedev’s match was the late night one inside Arthur Ashe Stadium but he made sure he wouldn’t have to work too deep into the New York night.
“It’s not so easy to play when you start at 10 p.m.” he said. “I had some experience, so I was ready. I tried to find a way to play my best tennis. That’s for sure what happened in the first set. Arthur was a little bit slow, made some double faults and some unforced errors. Then I managed to keep the momentum going.”
Medvedev saved the only three break points he faced, and converted on five of his 17 break points on Rinderknech’s serve.
Up next for Medvedev will be Chinese qualifier Yibing Wu, who only returned to the tour earlier this year after missing action between March 2019 and January 2022 due to injuries. On Monday, he became the first Chinese man to win a Grand Slam singles match in more than 60 years.
“I’m happy with my level in the third set, so that’s great,” Medvedev added. “At the end of the match it was getting better and better. At the same time a win is the most important, in three sets. Try to get out as early as possible even if it is pretty late. Looking forward to the next round.”
Medvedev’s match got on late because it followed the showdown between Serena Williams and second-seed Anett Kontaveit. Serena dug deep in her third set to outlast the Estonian 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2.
“There’s still a little left in me,” said Serena. “This is what I do best. I love rising to a challenge. After I lost the second set, I said, ‘Oh my goodness, this could be it.’ I just wanted to keep trying and just do my best.”
Serena will try to keep her New York run going when she faces off with Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, who came back to win 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 over Evgeniya Rodina.
“She’s been playing pretty intense and I’ve been watching her matches a lot. I saw her play last week or a week and a half ago,” Serena said of her next opponent. “She’s been through a lot of injuries, so I kind of respect that. I think it’s going to be a good match.”