Daniil Medvedev through to first-ever Rome semi-final
Daniil Medvedev has shrugged off his distaste for clay as he ousted German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open.
The run ranks as Medvedev’s best-ever in Rome and comes as he finally seems to be getting to grips with the surface.
In fact Medvedev only won his first match in Rome during the current run.
It is only the second time in his career that Medvedev has reached the last four in a clay court Masters event.
Medvedev says that he had a good feeling about Rome in his practice sessions leading up to the tournament.
He admitted that it took some adjusting to get used to the centre court which has played much slower than the Grandstand and outside courts.
“I said before the tournament I was feeling really great in practice,” Medvedev said.
“It is always a danger to say this if you lose the first round and you think, ‘Why did I say this’. But I am feeling great. The transition from Grand Stand to center court was not easy. He was struggling more than me and I am happy with the win and being in the semis.”
Medvedev put up a commanding display against Hanfmann, sitting well back behind the baseline to take the German’s hard hitting while executing a handful of breathtaking passing winners that brought the Rome crowd to their feet.
After an hour and twenty minutes, the third seed seemed to be making good use of the centre court and timed the ball perfectly off both wings to progress with the German having no answer.
“I knew I had to put as many balls into the court as possible because he plays aggressively,” Medvedev said.
“There aren’t going to be many points where you dictate, it will be mainly him. But what you have to do is play deep and try and make him miss. Maybe he didn’t play his best match but that is how it works, you can’t play your best match every day and I am happy I could neutralise his attacking style.”
Medvedev is all set to continue his hunt for the fifth trophy of his 2023 season when he takes on either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Borna Coric in the semi-finals on Saturday.
With Carlos Alcaraz losing in the third round in Rome, Medvedev, who is now leading the ATP Live Race To Turin, would increase his advantage at the top of the standings to 845 points if he wins his sixth ATP Masters 1000 title this week.
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