Tennis

Daniil Medvedev tops Benoit Paire in straight sets, makes 2nd round of Mexican Open

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ACAPULCO, Mexico — Daniil Medvedev continued his pursuit of the No. 1 ranking in men’s tennis with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Benoit Paire on Tuesday to move the second round at the Mexican Open.

The 26-year-old Russian can overtake Novak Djokovic and move into top spot if he wins the title here.

Medvedev, who won the 2021 US Open and was a runner-up last month at the Australian Open, is playing in Mexico for the first time.

« It’s not easy to come back after some rest and some time off competition, » said Medvedev, who rallied from a break down in the second set to win. « I managed to fight until the end against a very tough opponent and I’m happy that I managed to win. »

He’ll play either Alex Hernandez or Pablo Andujar in the next round.

If he wins this tournament, or if he reaches the Acapulco final and Djokovic does not win at Dubai, Medvedev will become the first player other than Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray to hold the top spot since 2004.

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Earlier, Tommy Paul advanced when fifth-seeded Matteo Berrettini retired from their match in the second set because of an abdominal injury.

Berrettini, who reached the semifinals in the Australian Open, won the first set 6-4 but was down 5-1 in the second when he withdrew.

Paul will play Dusan Lajovic in the second round.

The Mexican Open, a 500 tournament, is played on the hard courts of the GNP Arena in Acapulco, a popular tourist destination south of Mexico City.

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