WATCH: Daniil Medvedev dances into Rome Masters final
Daniil Medvedev downed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-5 to reach his third Masters Series final of the season.
Medvedev hadn’t won a match in Rome in three attempts before this run to the championship match.
Rain caused a long delay in the match, but they would eventually get back out with Medvedev taking his chances to secure just his second ATP Tour final on clay.
In what proved to be key to a victory that took one hour and 47 minutes, Medvedev regularly hit his groundstrokes deep and also used his drop shot wisely.
The fact that Medvedev and Tsitsipas’ match in Rome, which began at 16:25 local time and ended just over five hours later, was twice halted by rain made it even more remarkable that there was no noticeable flagging in the Russian’s performance.
Medvedev successfully converted all four of his break points to increase his head-to-head series advantage against Tsitsipas to 8-4.
“I enjoyed playing today,” said Medvedev. “It was very tough with the rain delay, I warmed up like six or seven times, but actually sometimes it can throw you off, you can be a little bit angry [about] the situation. Today, I don’t know why, I was just kind of laughing.
“There were so many moments where I was with my coach, [and he said], ‘OK they are opening the court, let’s go warm up’. We [went] there, started warming up, [and received a] text: ‘The rain is heavy, stop warming up’. We were laughing about this, we were actually OK. [We said], ‘OK, we [will] play’, and that’s what we managed to do.”
In the eleventh game of both sets, Medvedev secured critical breaks with his powerful returning through damp clay. Then, on both occasions, the 19-time tour-level champion Medvedev maintained his composure behind his own serve to record an ATP Tour-leading 38th victory of the year.
Medvedev will play in his second clay-court ATP Tour final on Sunday and his eighth Masters 1000 title match overall. He last played in an ATP Tour final in Barcelona in 2019. In the event that he wins, Medvedev will surpass Novak Djokovic and move up to No 2 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.
Although Medvedev has acknowledged that he does not prefer clay courts, the surface has been kinder to him thus far this year. His success in Rome is again another indication that the former world No 1 can compete with the best on the Tour on clay. He also made it to the quarterfinals in Monte-Carlo and the fourth round in Madrid.
Medvedev will face Holger Rune in the final.
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