First-seeded Daniil Medvedev claimed a straight-set victory over 42nd-ranked Ilya Ivashka in Halle but afterward insisted the Belarusian is never an easy opponent to play against.
On Thursday, Medvedev saw off Ivashka 7-6 (4) 6-3 to progress into the Halle quarterfinal.
Medvedev saved three set points in the 10th game of the first set, before realizing his third set point in the tie-break to win a tight opener.
After winning the first set, Medvedev earned the first break of the match in the fourth game of the second set and then held on to his serve the rest of the match to clinch a straight-set win.
“He is a great player,” Medvedev said after the match, per the ATP website. “He had a lot of bad luck with injuries at the beginning of the season. At the end of last season he was playing really great tennis. I’ve known him since I was very young, we actually played [each other] in Futures, Challengers, and on the ATP Tour. He beat me once in Davis Cup, which is a really important tournament. So he knows how to play tennis, he knows how to play well on grass, so I’m really happy that two times in a row I managed to pass a tough test.”
Medvedev on playing others as top-ranked player in the world
This week, Medvedev replaced Djokovic as the top-ranked player in the world.
Medvedev was asked whether his opponents were likely to raise their level when they play him, who is the best player in the world now.
“I think it will depend on the player and the match, and on my level also,” Medvedev said. “Some are going to be a little bit intimidated that they are playing the World No. 1 and they have a tough draw. If they lose, maybe it is nothing special. And some on the contrary. Maybe they don’t have the best confidence at the moment and if they beat the World No. 1, that is where it starts. My goal is every time I go on the court just to be the best player possible, and if my opponent wins, congrats, and let’s go for the next one.”