Since last Roland Garros, Daniil Medvedev has joked about hoping to win just one match on the Parisian clay. Now, the Russian star is into the quarter-finals and marching closer to World No. 1.

The second seed defeated clay-court stalwart Cristian Garin, the 22nd seed, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 on Sunday to reach the last eight at this tournament for the first time. Before the fortnight, he owned an 0-4 record at Roland Garros.

The 25-year-old has quietly moved to within striking distance of the No. 1 spot in the FedEx ATP Rankings. If Medvedev lifts the Coupe des Mousquetaires, he will reach World No. 1. The Russian will also claim the top spot after the tournament if he makes the final and Novak Djokovic loses before the championship match.

Medvedev has impressively lost just one set en route to the quarter-finals in Paris, and in the 12 sets he has won, the World No. 2 has not been extended to a tie-break. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion eliminated Garin, who has won all five of his ATP Tour titles on clay, in two hours and four minutes. Medvedev only lost serve once, and he broke the 22nd seed six times. 

Medvedev will next play fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta earlier in the day. The second seed leads the Greek 6-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, including a straight-sets win in the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open.

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Towards the end of his match against Garin, Medvedev showed his confidence with a flurry of jaw-dropping winners from tough positions off the court. The Russian tried to get the Court Suzanne-Lenglen crowd involved, waving his arms for them to make some noise. It was a moment reminiscent of Medvedev’s runs to the final at the 2019 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open.

Medvedev fell behind by a break early in the third set, but that was his only moment of difficulty against the Chilean. The 10-time ATP Tour titlist struck 14 aces and a total of 46 winners, including a lasered backhand on match point to advance.

Entering this event, Medvedev had been 1-2 on clay this year, including a three-set loss against Garin in Madrid. But the confidence Medvedev typically shows on hard courts has come out on the terre battue, and the Russian is into his fourth Grand Slam quarter-final.

Did You Know?
Medvedev is the 11th Russian man in the Open Era to reach the last eight at Roland Garros.