Wed, 18 May 2022

SYDNEY, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Australian showman Nick Kyrgios and Russian world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev are set to face each other in round two after both winning their round one matches on the second day of the Australian Open.

Medvedev made efficient work in his match against Swiss opponent Henri Laaksonen on Tuesday, winning 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

With Novak Djokovic's entry disallowed, the Russian is the new tournament favorite, and is eying his first ever Grand Slam title Down Under.

Despite the seeming good fortune of avoiding the legendary Serb, Medvedev said he would miss the "challenge".

"I like challenges, so I would love to have had this chance again to play him maybe in the final or something like this here in Rod Laver," said Medvedev during his post-match interview.

The U.S. Open champion may find ample challenge yet in his round two match against local tennis hero Kyrgios, who despite being ranked 115, beat Medvedev last time they went head-to-head in the Citi Open in 2019.

And despite recently recovering from COVID-19, Kyrgios showed good form on Tuesday night, winning his round one match against Liam Broady in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

The Australian acknowledged the immense challenge that lay ahead in facing the Russian favorite.

"I know I'm going to have to play some pretty good tennis [to beat Medvedev], but I'm just going to enjoy it tonight. I have a great day tomorrow and we'll see what happens," he said.

The two are scheduled to face each other on court on Thursday.

The end of the men's round one saw no shortage of top talent advance forward into the bracket of 64.

Andy Murray, who withdrew from the previous two editions of the tournament, clawed a five-set victory over No. 21 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4.

Murray has made it to the final of the Australian Open five times, falling just short of the title on each occasion.

Andrey Rublev made short work of Italy's Gianluca Mager, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Felix Auger-Aliassime narrowly avoided being eliminated after overcoming Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in five sets 6-4, 0-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Greece's world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas also progressed to round two after beating Mikael Ymer of Sweden late Tuesday night in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

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