The No.1 seed Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the St. Petersburg Open. The defending champion lost to American, Reilly Opelka 6-2, 5-7, 4-6 in a thrilling three-set showdown. Despite winning the opening set and having multiple chances to break in the third set, Medvedev lost the Round-of-16 match.
Medvedev broke Opelka’s serve twice in the opening set and held all his service games to clinch the first set. Both players displayed exquisite shot-making in the second set with the scoreline reaching 5-5. However, Opelka created three break point opportunities as Medvedev served to stay in the set, down at 5-6.
The Russian saved the first two breaks points, but Opelka hit a magical wide-angled volley in reply to Medvedev’s down-the-line backhand to level the match.
Right outta nowhere 😳
A magical touch from @ReillyOpelka! #spbopen pic.twitter.com/rwf03wOhFR
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2020
The third set began in a similar fashion, with both players fighting neck to neck. But Opelka finally broke Medvedev’s serve in the tenth game to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Daniil Medvedev fails to defend title
The 2019 US Open runner-up, Medvedev, won his first-ever St. Petersburg Open title last year by defeating Boris Coric in the final. He had a shaky start to this year’s tournament in his match against Richard Gasquet. But the No.1 seed recovered to win the match despite being a set down.
After losing in the first round of the French Open for the fourth successive year, Medvedev’s exit from the ATP 500 tournament Open is further disappointing. The Russian has already qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals for the second time in his career and will look to make amends considering his poor performances over the last month.
Meanwhile, Opelka will square off against the No.7 seed Boric Coric for a place in the semifinals. The duo has played only once in the first round at the 2019 Cincinnati Masters, which Opelka won 7-5 in the third set.