Medvedev fine to take US Open back seat to Alcaraz, Djokovic

Daniil Medvedev dropped just two games in his first round win at the US Open (KENA BETANCUR)
Daniil Medvedev dropped just two games in his first round win at the US Open (KENA BETANCUR)

Third seed Daniil Medvedev said Tuesday he was happy to fly under the radar at the US Open with much of the spotlight fixed on Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic.

Medvedev, the 2021 champion in New York, raced into the second round with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 victory over Hungary's Attila Balazs.

He pumped 41 winners past unranked journeyman Balazs in a one-sided encounter lasting 74 minutes, lining up a meeting with Australian Christopher O'Connell in the next round.

"It's always good to start well. I'm happy with my performance," said Medvedev.

The world number three, who was also runner-up to Rafael Nadal here in 2019, is a self-confessed "hard-court specialist" but is garnering much less attention compared to Alcaraz and Djokovic.

Top seed Alcaraz is the defending champion while Djokovic, who will return to number one after the tournament, is seeking a fourth US Open crown and record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

"I don't care. It's normal that Carlos and Novak are the biggest names right now," said Medvedev, who leads all players on the ATP Tour since 2018 in hard-court titles, finals and wins.

"My goal is to try to play well and get either to where they are, which means semi-finals, or if they lose, to still get there and play somebody else. And to try to win. That's the only thing I can do."

"I'm not someone who doesn't look at the draw so I know that Alcaraz in the semis part of the draw, (Andrey) Rublev is quarters," he added.

"You have to take it match by match. You have to enjoy the moment. Try to get there."