Rome [Italy], May 22 (ANI): World No.3 Daniil Medvedev on Sunday captured his first clay-court trophy at the Italian Open as he defeated 20-year-old Holger Rune 7-5, 7-5. After the start of the championship match was delayed by one hour and 40 minutes due to rain, the 27-year-old came out and produced a clean-hitting, consistent display at Centre Court. Andy Murray Withdraws From French Open After Choosing Wimbledon As His Priority.
On the red clay in Rome, he sat deep behind the baseline and took the strain, twice coming back from a breakdown in the second set against the seventh seed Rune, who was attempting to capture his second Masters 1000 championship. Medvedev had never won a match in three previous appearances in Rome before this season.
"I always want to believe in myself and I always want to win the biggest tournaments in the world. But at the same time, I didn't think I could win a Masters 1000 on clay in my career because usually I hated it, I hated playing on it. I didn't feel good on it and nothing was working," ATP.com quoted Daniil Medvedev as saying.
"Before this tournament already in Madrid and Monte-Carlo, I wasn't feeling too bad. I thought, 'OK, let's continue'. Then when I came here I felt so good in practice and I told my coach, 'I don't know what is happening but I am feeling amazing, so let's see how it goes'. But then you have to play the toughest opponents in the world to try to make it. I am really happy I managed to do it and to prove to myself and everyone else that I am capable of doing it," he added.
Medvedev has clinched a Tour-leading five titles this season, including the trophy in Miami last month.
"It was a tough match. I think we were both a bit nervous at the start and I think we were both missing our basics. We were missing some easy shots, so I am happy I managed to step it up at the end of the first set. But then at the start of the second set he stepped it up straight away and I was like 'OK, this is the moment I have to start playing better and go to his level'. Then it was a top match from this stage," Medvedev said. Elena Rybakina Clinches Women’s Singles Title in Italian Open 2023 As Anhelina Kalinina Retires Due to Injury.
In an entertaining final, Medvedev demonstrated nerve of steel to hang in rallies and frustrate Rune. The 27-year-old won 83 per cent (20/24) of his first-serve points in the first set and earned the decisive break of the set in the 12th game. (ANI)
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