Daniil Medvedev is into the third round of the Miami Open with a convincing 6-4 6-2 win over Andy Murray in a battle of two former world No.1s.
The 34-year-old dragged Medvedev into numerous gruelling rallies and continually forced the 26-year-old to come to the net.
But it was the Russian who would come out on top in one hour and 29 minutes, winning 86 per cent of his points on his first serve, with Murray unable to produce a single break point on Medvedev’s serve.
Murray has now not won back-to-back matches since The Sydney International in January and his last win against a top five player was in 2016.
US Open 2021 winner Medvedev will play Spain’s Pedro Martinez in the third round as he bids to win his fifth Masters title and his first in Florida.
“I think it was a great match,” Medvedev said after beating three-time Grand Slam winner Murray.
“I’m happy that I managed to have zero break points against me. I feel like I have some room for improvement, but it was a great match against an amazing player and I’m happy that I managed to go through.”
With Ivan Lendl watching from the stands in Murray’s corner, the match got off to a fine start with both players engaging in a 26-shot rally which the 2009 and 2013 champion came out on top.
But it was not long before Medvedev got into a bit of a rhythm. The Russian reeled off four points in a row on Murray’s second service game to move into a commanding 3-1 lead.
Murray was moving better than he has been in recent matches and he was able to rescue Medvedev’s second break point of the match at 3-2 down in a very tight opening to the match, before both players quickly reeled off their remaining service games.
Medvedev’s serving was excellent and he sealed the set at the first time of asking, slamming down a fierce unreturnable serve to finish off a 46-minute opener.
Murray continued to show grit and determination in the opening stages of the second set and produced a cross-court forehand towards the line at 1-1 which sparked the subdued crowd into life. The 34-year-old clenched his fist when he took a 2-1 lead.
But a double fault at 2-2 handed Medvedev two break points. Murray rescued both at the net with Medvedev producing two unforced errors.
Medvedev quickly earned another one with an unreturnable dropshot and sealed the break advantage with a backhand sliced volley which sent Murray tumbling.
The break proved the turning point as Murray was unable to maintain his intensity. Medvedev quickly won four points in a row on Murray’s serve, finishing off with a perfectly weighted forehand dropshot, to move within a game of the next round.
Medvedev wasted no time in serving out for the match, converting his first of two match points as Murray’s service return hit the net.
EVANS KNOCKED OUT BY NISHIOKA
Dan Evans joins Murray in going out at the second round after losing to Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6 6-4 6-3 in two hours and 19 minutes.
Evans had lost to the world No. 96 in all of their previous three meetings and has a track record of struggling against left-handed players, and again he could not find a way past the Japanese player.
Nishioka will play either Canada’s Denis Shapovalov or South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in the next round.
After a tight opening six games with Evans squandering three break points in the first and third, Evans was able to finally able to get the break he needed to move into a 4-3 lead before reeling off the next two games in style.
The second set proved trickier for Evans who went 3-1 down after Nishioka produced a fine passing shot off his backhand with the Brit stranded at the net.
Evans was unable to produce another break point on Nishioka’s serve and the match went to a third set decider.
Nishioka went a break up in the opening game, but Evans showed great fortitude to claw his way back into it, making it 2-2 as Nishioka hit a volley at the net into the tramlines.
But Evans was clearly very frustrated after Nishioka converted a break point in an epic seventh game due to the Brit double faulting for the fourth time in the match.
And Nishioka sealed his place in the next round in the ninth game after Evans fired long at the net.