Tennis-Medvedev reaches milestone on winning return in Los Cabos

(Reuters) – World number one Daniil Medvedev acknowledged reaching a “nice” milestone as, playing his first tour match since June, he beat qualifier Rinky Hijikata 6-4 6-3 in Los Cabos, Mexico on Wednesday to record his 250th professional singles win.

Medvedev, who sat out Wimbledon due to an All England Club ban on Russian players, closed the match out in just over 90 minutes, with Hijikata showing resilience by saving five breakpoints over the course of the two sets.

“Somebody told me this a few days ago …otherwise I would not have known,” Medvedev said of the milestone. “For sure I want more victories but that’s also nice to have 250. We’ll try to get more.”

The win also helps Medvedev get back into the hardcourt groove as he ramps up preparations for his U.S. Open title defence, with his previous match on his preferred surface having come in the Miami Open in March.

“It’s definitely not that easy to play after you stop for a while…,” Medvedev said.

“Sensations were not bad. I could have just broken a little bit more, but when you win, everything is fine. I have to play like this in the next matches.”

Medvedev next faces Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in the quarter-finals.

(Reporting by John Stonestreet)