In a surprise turnaround, Reilly Opelka, the 6’11’’ American giant with the thunderous serve, ousted the top seed Andrei Medvedev from the St Petersburg Open 2-6 7-5 6-4 for his first win over the Russian in their third meeting.
Daniil is an absolute nightmare to play, especially for a guy like me because he just runs every ball down Reilly Opelka
For Medvedev it was another disappointing result having won just one match in his last five court appearances and that was secured in his first-round win against Richard Gasquet on Wednesday.
And he showed his dissatisfaction at his performance by smashing his racket when leaving the court.
“It is always a tough match, playing one of best players in the world in his home. It is a great win for me. It was ugly for the first set and a half. I felt like I barely won any points on his serve, but part of that is just because of my opponent. Daniil is an absolute nightmare to play, especially for a guy like me because he just runs every ball down”, said Opelka following his victory over the world ranked sixth player n the world.
The American world No.36 now faces a quarter-final against the seventh seeded Borna Coric of Cratia who, in turn, recovered from 3-1 down in the second set to defeat Russian wild-card Roman Safiullin 6-3 7-5.
The newly ensconced title favourite, the second-seeded Denis Shapovalov had little trouble beating Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka 6-1 6-4 in their second-round match and next plays Stan Wawrinka in his quarter-final.
Shapovalov, the world No. 12, saved all five break points he faced and won 89 per of his firsts serve points.
“I am in good shape now and I played really well today,” the young Canadian said.
Looking ahead to his clash with the fifth seeded Swiss in what will be their third meeting with the series standing at 1-1, he added: “Wawrinka is a very tough opponent.
“I think he is in very good shape now. He played two difficult matches in this tournament. I think I’ve met him twice already.
It is especially difficult to play against him when he feels confident. I think tomorrow will be a difficult match, but I think that I am also in good shape, and I also played very well in two matches here.”
Andrey Rublev, seeded three, came back from a set down to win 4-6 6-4 7-5 against Ugo Humbert to make the last eight where British No.3, Cameron Norrie awaits. Rublev has broken into the world’s top ten for the first time following his recent run of 11 wins from 12 matches including the Hamburg title and a quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros.
Karen Khachanov won an all-Russian match against wild card Aslan Karatsev 4-6 7-5 6-3 while Canadian Milos Raonic beat Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik 6-3 6-2.