Holder Daniil Medvedev charged out of the blocks on Monday as ATP tennis returned to the courts in the current COVID-19 environment, reaching the second round at the “Cincinnati” Masters being played in New York.
The Russian third seed who beat David Goffin for the title at the actual tournament home in Ohio a year ago, played his first official match in nearly half a year.
Medvedev defeated qualifier Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4 in the second round encounter at Flushing Meadows in a no-fan, no-linesman bio-bubble totally devoid of the usual ambience.
The Rusasian last competed in mid-February in France.
“I’m pleased to have won, particularly against an opponent who has played three matches,” Medvedev said.
“I didn’t play well from the baseline, but I got two breaks. I have a lot of things to improve, but that’s for the next round. It was hotter today, the conditions were a little bit different.”
American Giron saved a set point with an ace in the 432-minute opener but eventually fell in the straight-set clash.
Medvedev broke early in the second, saved three break points and advanced on the back of 16 winners including eight aces.
The 24-year-old ranked fifth is hoping to repeat at least part of the winning run he managed a year ago, going 29-3 after Wimbledon and lifting titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai along with a US Open final against Rafael Nadal.