Daniil Medvedev reached a career milestone as the world number one claimed a 250th victory on his return to Mexico, beating Australian Rinky Hijikata in routine fashion.
Playing his first competitive match since June, Medvedev defeated his wildcard rival 6-4 6-3 as the Russian returned to his favorite hard court.
Medvedev, 26, is making his first appearance at the Los Cabos tournament, which is part of his preparations for his bid to defend his title at the US Open in New York later this month.
Medvedev said he was briefed on the impending milestone ahead of the match and he has no intention of stopping at 250 wins, he is enjoying an 11th week atop the ATP rankings.
“Someone told me this a few days ago on media day, otherwise I wouldn’t have known” Medvedev was quoted by the ATP website.
“It’s probably a milestone in some way. Of course I want more wins, but it’s also good to have 250. We will try to get more.
The milestone follows another milestone recently achieved by Medvedev, after he became the Russian men’s player to spend the longest time as world number one. The previous record of nine weeks was held by Marat Safin.
Medvedev and his compatriots were forced out of the last Wimbledon Grand Slam after the Russians were banned.
Medvedev admitted the enforced break had not been ideal, as he also played his first game on hard court since reaching the Miami Open quarter-finals in March.
“It’s definitely not that easy to play after a moment of downtime, especially [playing my] first game on hard courts in a long, long time since Miami,” said the Moscow-born star, who is the number one seed in Mexico.
“The feelings weren’t bad. I could have broken a little more, but when you win, everything is fine. I have to play like that in the next matches.
Medvedev will next meet Ricardas Berankis in the quarter-finals, after the Lithuanian defeated Argentinean Facundo Bagnis in their round of 16.
The biggest challenge in the North American hard-court swing will come in New York, where Medvedev is aiming to defend the Grand Slam title he won last year.
On that occasion, the Russian won a first major title after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final, although the Serb was absent this time around due to US rules preventing the entry of unvaccinated non-citizens.
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