Top seeds got down to business in searing heat on Thursday, with both Daniil Medvedev and Ash Barty crushing the opposition to book into the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters.

Medvedev, winner at the weekend of the Masters title in Toronto, kept up his pace 6-3, 6-3 over fellow former Cincy champion Grigor Dimitrov.

Barty lost just two games in a 72-minute hammering of 2020 Cincy winner Victoria Azarenka, as the Australian top seed competes in her first event since an Olympic first-round shock.

“I was able to look after my own service games pretty well today,” Barty said. 

“Sometimes a scoreline in tennis can fool you. 

“Even though it was quite a convincing score, for most of that match, each and every game there were crucial points.

“I felt like I was able to win a lot of those big points today. Getting ahead early in games was really helpful.

‘I was able to continually build pressure over time and control the ball a lot better today. Overall it was a pretty solid match.”

The Queenslander will aim for her second semi-final here against fellow Roland Garros winner Barbora Krejcikova after the Czech beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2.

Medvedev won here in 2019 while Dimitrov claimed the honours in 2017.

“It was pretty hot today (28 Celsius)  so it was tough for both of us,” Medvedev said.. “I saw Grigor suffering, also struggling. 

“But that’s how it is, the same for everybody.

“My body’s more used to the heat now than in Tokyo,I’m happy with the level of play, two sets,great victory, perfect to be 100 percent ready for tomorrow.”

Medvedev was limited to just seven aces while breaking four times.

French players missed out on a quarter-final showdown as Gael Monfils lost his third-rounder while Benoit Paire came through off a run-down John Isner.

Monfils ended on a disappointing double-fault to lose 7-6 (5), 7-6(2) against Russian fourth seed Andrey Rublev.

But Paire went on a tear against Isner, with the American big man feeling the heat and reduced to survival mode on court in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-7 (2/7), 6-1 loss

Paire said he’s been inspired by finally having fans in the stands to spur him on as he makes remarkable progress after a year and a half of COVID-era slacking. 

Isner started the third set with three straight double-faults as his fitness faded in the heat. The two-metre-plus giant was reduced to lumbering around the court and making only minimal effort as his reserves drained away.

Pair has struggled with motivation during the crowd-free COVID period. But he was back in his element with unmasked fans in their numbers observing his victory.

“I’m glad to win. It was not easy out there,” Paire said. “It makes all the difference, though, to play in front of fans.”

Main photo:- Daniil Medvedev winning in Cincinnati – ©Peter Staples/


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