On Sunday May 21, at the Masters in Rome (Italy), the final match in the men’s singles category was played. The third racket in the world, Daniil Medvedev, who had the third seed, and the 20-year-old Danish tennis player Holger Rune (7) reached the decisive match. The semifinals took place on Saturday, and it turned out that Medvedev had much less time to prepare for the game than Rune, despite the fact that the Russian won in two sets and the Dane in three.
The schedule was worked out in such a way that Rune was the first to reach the final. He scored a strong-willed victory over Kasper Ruud (6:7, 6:4, 6:2). And he was lucky in the sense that at the end of his match, the rains came to Rome, which had already hit the organizers, players, fans and everyone in general several times before. Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, his semi-final opponent, began play around 4:30 p.m. local time and finished at 10:30 p.m., six hours later. At the same time, the playing time did not exceed two hours. And immediately after the victory (7:5, 7:5), Daniel performed a fun dance that has already become a meme.
“It’s like being drunk in a club.” Video with Medvedev’s dance went viral
For Medvedev, who was never considered a clay-court specialist, this final was only the second of his career on this surface, and his first at the Masters. In April 2019, the Russian in the decisive match of the “five hundred” in Barcelona lost without much chance to Dominic Thiem – 4:6, 0:6. But Rune, despite his young age, already had three clay court finals to his account, and he won two of them. Last April, he won the ATP-250 tournament in Munich after Botik van de Zandshulp retired in the first set, and a year later he scored a clear victory at the same tournament over the same opponent: 6:4, 1:6. , 7:6 (7:3). Well, at the recent Monte Carlo Masters, Holger was in the final, but then Andrey Rublev turned out to be stronger – 5:7, 6:2, 7:5.
Rublev edged out 19-year-old Rune in the Monte Carlo final! The Russian took the Masters for the first time
In Monte Carlo, by the way, the first confrontation between Medvedev and Rune took place. The Dane stopped the Russian in the quarterfinals: 6:3, 6:4. Before the current final, Daniel remembered that match. “I said after the defeat in Monte Carlo that I consider him one of the best players on clay. I think this cover suits you better. We know that he can also play on other surfaces. He won the Bercy [«Мастерс» в Париже в 2022 году]. I think this is his favorite cover. But I feel much better than in Monte Carlo. I had a lot more matches, a lot more practice. I will try to play the best I can. Holger showed today that even in the most difficult moments he can play amazingly, beat anyone. I’m sure it could be a great match. And I will try to show my maximum”, the ATP press service quotes him.
What was said before the game.
How did Medvedev manage to make a breakthrough on the ground? FTR Vice President Alexei Selivanenko expressed the opinion that Daniil managed to adapt his game to this surface. “Medvedev adapted his game to the particularities of tennis on clay. Daniil and Holger went through the Masters in Rome with confidence and objectively formed the final couple. Favorite in the final? I would not get involved in predictions, because each match has its own drama, ”Selivanenko said in an interview with the Championship.
Daniil Medvedev at the Rome Masters
Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images
1995 Davis Cup finalist Andrey Chesnokov expressed hope that Medvedev could get revenge on Rune for his loss in the Monte Carlo quarter-final. “The Rune-Medvedev final should be good. Take, for example, his match in Monte Carlo – there was a completely different Danya. In Rome, such a game would not be allowed. Maybe Rune has an advantage, but Medvedev can take revenge,” Chesnokov said in an interview with Championship.
The 18-time USSR tennis champion Anna Dmitrieva suggested that in the final everything would depend on Medvedev himself. “Rune is a very young guy, but he is already a strong and reliable tennis player. It’s never easy against him. He went through the grid with great confidence until the final. Holger is now in great shape, as is Danya. It all depends on Medvedev, whether he can collect the keys to the Rune game. I think we are expecting an even match. There is no favorite in this final, but the details will decide everything. I wish Daniil good luck in today’s match!” – said Dmitrieva in an interview with “Championship”.
And two-time TBS champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov assessed his opponents’ chances as equals. “At this level, no one has weaknesses. Medvedev will have to try to play 100% if he wants to win the tournament. Because I’m sure Rune won’t have any breakdowns. In fact, Medvedev is now making a good impression. His results on clay are the best of the season. And now the next final of the Masters series tournament. Let’s rejoice and hope that today he takes his first title on clay. And then we will see, the chances are 50-50. I still do not give preference to either Runa or Medvedev, ”Gazeta.ru quotes Kafelnikov.
Holger Rune at the Rome Masters
Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty Images
The final also started late: not at 17:00 Moscow time, but at 18:40. The reason is the same: the rain. Rune was the first to break points in this match, and it happened in the fifth game. In many ways he was helped in this by Medvedev, who committed two double faults, and after the second of them the score was 15:40. However, the Russian was able to save a double break point and still took the game. More tennis players did not give themselves the opportunity to take the opponent’s serve, until the 12th game. Medvedev, with a score of 6: 5 in his favor, earned a set point on the reception, and immediately converted it! ! In the first game, Daniil was more active than his opponent (9 wins to 5), but also had more unforced errors (6 to 3).
But the first game of the second set was unsuccessful for Medvedev – Rune brought his serve to zero. In the fourth game, the Russian responded with a break – Daniil also reached a triple break point, only he did not convert it immediately, but on the second attempt – 2:2. However, in the seventh game, the Dane managed to stun the opponent again. Holger made the second break, and again below zero (one point from four was given by Daniil, who scored a double). But Medvedev also found an answer here, and in the tenth game, that is, when it was no longer possible to go back. Rune with a score of 5:4 requested a set, but was unable to do so. The Russian used the first break point and leveled the score – 5:5. In game 11, Daniil saved a break point, and in game 12 he earned a triple match point on the catch, which he converted on the second down: 7:5, 7:5! Immediately after the decisive draw, Medvedev took a knee on this clay court.
This is how Medvedev got his fifth title of the season and the twentieth of his career. In addition, he won the final match on clay for the first time, and immediately at the Masters. And all this is already the sixth trophy of the Russian in the “thousand”. According to this indicator, he became the only record holder among the Russians. In the second line is Marat Safin, who has five titles in the Masters. Also, this season Daniil won all 33 matches in which he took the first set. On Monday May 22, when the ATP publishes an updated rating, Medvedev will move up to second place and will only be surpassed by Carlos Alcaraz. Novak Djokovic will close the top three. The winner of this Master won €1,105,265 and the finalist €580,000.
Next week there will be two ATP-250 tournaments. The competitions will be hosted by Geneva (Switzerland) and Lyon (France). The best Russians did not show up for them. And in a week Roland Garros starts. Rafael Nadal, the reigning French Open winner, will miss the tournament due to injury.
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