Daniil Medvedev begins his bid for a first title of 2020 when he faces rising star Jannik Sinner in the second round of Marseille on Thursday.
Daniil Medvedev ?? vs Jannik Sinner ?? Match Info
Date: Thursday February 20
Tournament: ATP Marseille R2
Court: Court Central
Time: 3.30pm local time (2.30pm GMT)
Daniil Medvedev vs Jannik Sinner Head-to-Head
Daniil Medvedev vs Jannik Sinner Match Preview
Top seed Medvedev has a tough clash on his hands if he is to win a first match since the Australian Open when he comes up against reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Sinner on Thursday for a place in the Marseille quarter-finals.
It hasn’t been a poor start to 2020 by any means, but it also hasn’t been a great one for Medvedev, who comes into Marseille with a 7-3 record for the season so far. Solid if unspectacular is the phrase that comes to mind. The Russian won four matches and pushed World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to a third set during his ATP Cup campaign and appeared set for a deep run at the Australian Open, but he was ultimately undone by Stan Wawrinka in five sets in the fourth round, with Medvedev still yet to win a match that goes the distance at a Grand Slam.
Medvedev returned to action last week in Rotterdam, but he was routinely dispatched by an in-form Vasek Pospisil in the first round.
Judging by his start to the year, it’s going to be a challenge for Medvedev to back up everything he did last season. The 24-year-old led the tour for most match wins in 2019 with 59 overall, including 46 victories on hardcourt. It was an extremely consistent year that peaked when Medvedev reached six straight finals from July to October, including capturing his first two Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai, while he also reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open, where he went down to Rafael Nadal in a five-set epic.
Medvedev was definitely fatigued by the end of the season as he bowed out of the ATP Finals without winning a match, and from the outside looking in, it looks like the Russian is still operating at a level below his full capabilities. Can the World No. 5 find his best tennis in Marseille this week?
Sinner will prove a tough obstacle to overcome, especially after the 18-year-old landed a personal milestone for himself last week in Rotterdam, earning his first top 10 win over David Goffin as he advanced to a maiden ATP 500 quarter-final, ultimately falling in a deciding set tiebreak to Pablo Carreno Busta.
After starting the 2019 season outside the top 500, Sinner is currently ranked No. 68 in the world following a whirlwind last 12 months. The Italian became the first player born in 2001 to win a Challenger title when he did so in Bergamo and swiftly made the transition to the ATP World Tour as the year progressed, becoming the youngest ATP semi-finalist since Borna Coric in 2014 when he reached the final four in Antwerp, defeating No. 13 Gael Monfils along the way for his biggest career win to that point. Sinner capped the season by conquering Alex de Minaur for the Next Gen ATP Finals title in Milan and as mentioned, is already breaking new ground in 2020, winning his first Grand Slam main draw match at the Australian Open and making the Rotterdam quarter-finals last week.
Sinner staged a superb comeback in his opening round win over Norbert Gombos earlier in the week, winning six of the last seven points of the second-set tiebreak to come out on top 6-4 7-6(5). Can he register his second top 10 win in as many weeks on Thursday?
Daniil Medvedev vs Jannik Sinner Prediction
Sinner, who many compare to Tomas Berdych due to his easy power off both wings, has a solid chance of the upset here, but Medvedev is still the favourite. The Russian was unfortunate to run into an in-form Pospisil in Rotterdam and probably would have outlasted a lot of other players in the draw. Medvedev’s brick-wall defence and maddening consistency should be enough to handle Sinner and reach the quarter-finals.