Medvedev confirms dark horse tag with efficient victory but fatigue concern remains
Daniil Medvedev confirmed his status as the form 'Next Gen' player at the US Open with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 win over Prajnesh Gunneswaran but did require treatment from the trainer during the third set.
The Russian No 1 required treatment on his left hamstring during the match but appeared not to have suffered a serious injury but concerns had already been raised over the intensity of his schedule this summer.
Medvedev could hardly have asked to arrive at Flushing Meadows in better form, having reached three consecutive finals in the hard-court swing.
The third saw him claim a maiden Masters 1000 title as he beat David Goffin to claim the Cincinnati trophy and pick up his 44th victory of the year, a tour-leading figure.
The new world No 5 could therefore hardly have been a more intimidating opponent for Gunneswaran, ranked 83 places below the Russian and without a Grand Slam main draw win to his name, who was broken in the very first game.
The Indian No 1 did hit back, breaking to love to level at 2-2, but then gave the advantage straight back to Medvedev who promptly saved a break point in the next game to preserve his lead.
Gunneswaran struggled to match 'the wall' - a nickname given to the Russian by beaten Cincinnati finalist Goffin - in so many areas and produced 13 unforced errors in the first set.
His only hope, it appeared, was that Medvedev's hectic summer of three straight finals would catch up with him and there was cause for concern in the third set when the trainer was called and spent an extended period of time treating his left hamstring.
However, he seemed to suffer no ill effects and bounced back up to consolidate his break of serve in the third and tighten his stranglehold on the match at 3-0 in the third.
Gunneswaran was no match for the 23-year-old in the end and were it a boxing match it would have been stopped long before it finished - but tennis requires every fighter to go a certain distance and the question for Medvedev now is whether he has a fortnight of Grand Slam tennis in his legs.