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Medvedev hails ‘great news’ that he can defend US Open crown

Daniil Medvedev said on Wednesday it was “great news” that Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete at this year’s US Open, where he will be defending the title.

The Russian world number one will be forced to sit out Wimbledon after the grass-court Grand Slam event banned him and his compatriots and Belarusians due to the invasion of Ukraine.

But on Tuesday, the US Open organisers announced players from the two nations would be able to feature at Flushing Meadows, competing under neutral flags.

Wimbledon gets underway on June 27, with the US Open starting on August 29.

“It’s great news,” Medvedev said after winning his opening match at the Halle grass-court tournament, 6-3, 6-2 against David Goffin.

“I’ve always said I will follow the rules and play where I can play. I just want to show my best tennis.

“I’m happy to be able to defend my title. I have some amazing memories from last year.

“That was one of the most special tournaments for me.”

Medvedev won his maiden major title last September with victory over Novak Djokovic in the US Open final, denying the Serb a calendar Grand Slam.

The 26-year-old said he will try and play as much as possible while Wimbledon is being held.

“I will play Mallorca next week for sure, I want to defend that title,” added Medvedev, who lost in the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final last weekend to Tim van Rijthoven.

“Without Wimbledon coming up, I don’t have to preserve my body and I can play three tournaments in a row.

“I’ll then spend a few more days in Mallorca and then return to the south of France to train for the hard courts.

“I may add another tournament to my list, but I’m not sure yet.”

Medvedev has a poor record at Wimbledon, with a run to the fourth round last year his best effort in four appearances.

“Grass is physically a very tough surface,” he said. “Wimbledon is always in the back of your mind. Right now, it’s easier for me to have just this tournament that matters.”

Medvedev will play Belarusian Ilya Ivashka in the Halle second round on Thursday.

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