Russian third-seed Daniil Medvedev fought off the spirited efforts of British world No. 391 Arthur Fery with a 7-5 6-4 6-3 victory over the 20-year-old wild card Wednesday as he starts his latest attempt for a serious challenge at Wimbledon.
Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion, world No. 1 in 2022 and winner of five tournaments this year, has only once reached the fourth round, though he missed last year’s tournament due to the ban on Russian players.
Fery, making his Tour-level debut, knocked him out of his stride for a while with a sustained serve-and-volley approach, but a rain break at 5-5 in the first set changed the dynamic and Medvedev quickly wrapped up the opener.
It was not the procession many expected after that, though, with Fery breaking to love early in the second set as Medvedev, 27, struggled for consistency. His serve remained a powerful weapon, however, and enabled him to avoid further scares.
American Frances Tiafoe kicked off his bid for a maiden Grand Slam title by sealing a 7-6(4) 6-3 6-4 win over Chinese debutant Wu Yibing in a rain-interrupted first round clash at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Tiafoe, seeking to become the first American man to win the trophy since Pete Sampras bagged his seventh title at the grasscourt major in 2000, recovered after dropping his serve early in the first set to level at 2-2 before rain halted play.
The players returned but were back inside two games later and when play resumed again, it was the 25-year-old Tiafoe who took charge of the tight opening set in the tiebreak and closed it out with a powerful serve.
Wu, making his Wimbledon debut and his fourth appearance at a Grand Slam, took a medical timeout early in the second set and had his pulse checked but resumed following a lengthy off-court evaluation.
The world number 62 did not seem too badly affected by the unspecified issue but Tiafoe shifted gears to double his lead in the match and after freely trading breaks in the third, closed out the victory with a solid service game.
That match was suspended on Monday due to darkness and could not resume on a rainy Tuesday with Fritz up 3-2 in the decider.
The world number nine, along with Tiafoe, is looking to become the first American men’s Grand Slam champion since Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open in 2003.
Information from Reuters was used in this report
Daniil Medvedev, Frances Tiafoe victorious at Wimbledon