Daniil Medvedev secured a quarter-final match against Taylor Fritz after downing Denis Shapovalov in straight sets in Cincinnati.
Medvedev sounded a US Open warning as he found his best form to see off Shapovalov 7-5, 7-5.
The World No 1 reached the last eight of an ATP 1000 event for the second time this season and put himself in a position to strengthen his hold on the top ranking.
“The match was pretty tight. I felt that it was a great level. I felt that he was missing a bit more than me but making more points, but that is how Shapo plays,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview.
“My goal was to stay there every point possible and try and put pressure on him when I had the chance. But there were many points where I was just running across the baseline, trying to get back his shots. Generally happy with the level.”
Medvedev edges in front in his head-to-head series against Shapovalov with his third win in five matches between the two top 20 players.
The 2019 Cincinnati Masters champion has now improved his record in Ohio to 13-4 having enjoyed a run to the last four last season.
Medvedev has had a fair amount of hit outs with Fritz and expects a tough first ATP Tour match between the two.
“Taylor is a great player and we have practised quite a lot of times and even at this Australian Open, no not the Australian Open but before the ATP Cup so before the start of the season we had a session.
“I think he beat me but it doesn’t really matter; I talked to my coach and said ‘wow he can play really good, it can be a good year for him’ and he won Indian Wells, you know maybe he could of done better at some other tournaments but hey he is a Masters champion and an amazing player and I need to be at my best to beat him.”
Earlier Fritz reached his third ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season when he clawed past Medvedev’s compatriot Andrey Rublev 6-7(4), 6-2, 7-5.
Fritz felt that a tentative start cost him the first set and a quicker match in the late summer heat.
“I felt at times my serve rhythm was going away, but I just didn’t want to go a break down in the second set. I tried to hit some good serves, take some more risks,” Fritz said in his on-court interview.
“I thought at the end of the first I was too passive. So I told myself to take chances [in the second set].
“It was a big match. I wasn’t going to let anything really bother me or affect me to where it might affect me to lose the match. Every time something didn’t go my way, I tried to analyse it and think about what to do next time to try and win the point.”
Fritz crafted an early opening when he earned a break point at 5-4 up in the first, but Rublev saved the set and took it in the tiebreak.
However, Fritz found his rhythm and sent Rublev packing with an irresistible power game.
The American is also up to 15-2 in Masters series events on home soil this term in his third ATP 1000 event in the United States in 2022.
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