Daniil Medvedev Cracks Top Five With Maiden Masters Title In Cincinnati - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Cracks Top Five With Maiden Masters Title In Cincinnati

The new world No.5 has sent out a warning to his rivals ahead of the US Open.

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Daniil Medvedev has become the first Russian player in history to win a Masters title after downing David Goffin in straight sets at the Western and Southern Open.

 

The 23-year-old overcame cramping to edged out his rival 7-6(3), 6-4, in Cincinnati. It was by no means a straightforward encounter for Medvedev, who faced some stern resistance from across the court. During the opening set he saw a 4-1 advantage come and go before prevailing in the tiebreaker. Then in the second, Medvedev saved two break points whilst serving for the title. Eventually closing it out with three consecutive aces.

“It’s hard to find words,” Medvedev told Brad Gilbert after the match. “It’s the hard work I’ve been putting in. It would not be good to lose three finals in a row, so I’m really happy about this. I started cramping at 5-3, actually. It was the first time I cramped in three weeks. I made four serves he didn’t return and it was unbelievable.”

Throughout the clash the Russian No.1 fired 10 aces and dropped only three points behind his first serve. Medvedev also produced only one double fault compared to Goffin’s tally of seven.

Cincinnati was the third consecutive tournament where Medvedev has reached the final in as many weeks. Something that was last achieved by Alexander Zverev during the first half of 2018. Since Wimbledon, he has won 14 out of 16 matches played. The only players to have beaten him was Nick Kyrgios in the Washington final and Rafael Nadal at the Rogers Cup.

“I have to say even if I wouldn’t have finished with the trophy, they were amazing and the best in my life. But of course I think with the trophy is better.” He commented about the past three weeks.
“Especially if I would have lost three finals in a row, I would have not doubted myself but, like, started asking myself how is it possible, three finals, lost all of them? What should I do differently in the final?”
“It’s been the best weeks in my life. My mentality was the best in my life. My serve was the best in my life. My tennis was really consistent. I didn’t have one bad match. I’m just extremely happy.”

The recent surge in form has also helped Medvedev achieve another milestone in his blossoming career. On Monday he rose to a ranking high of fifth in the world. Becoming the first man from his country to break into the top five since Nikolay Davydenko back in 2010. He is one of two Russian men in the top 10 along with Karen Khachanov, who is currently in ninth spot.

“That’s a huge achievement which I couldn’t probably believe three weeks ago, because I just entered the top 10.”

US Open awaits

Given the surge in success, the world No.5 has now been named as a contender in the upcoming US Open, which will begin in a week’s time. He is yet to progress beyond the fourth round at a major. Runner-up Goffin has backed his opponent to become a grand slam champion, but believes the US Open might not be where he triumphs.

“To win a Grand Slam it’s another story, because it’s best of five. It could be unbelievably hot and humid in New York, as well. You know, it’s something different.” Said Goffin.
“This year, I don’t know. Maybe it’s too early, but one day, yes. Why not?”

There is also a danger that Medvedev could have peaked too early prior to the New York major. Also, given the sheer amount of tennis he has contested over the past three weeks, there are also concerns about how he will recover in time. However, Medvedev has no regrets regardless of what happens at the grand slam.

“I try not to think about it, because I have zero regrets from what I have done in these three weeks.” He stated.
“We will work on a plan with my team, how to make the best plan to recover and to be ready for Monday or Tuesday, if I play Tuesday, and hopefully I am. I would say I should be. There is no reason for me not to be ready for US Open.”

Medvedev has now won 44 matches this season. More than anybody else on the ATP Tour.

ATP

Loss Meaningless To Dominic Thiem In Hunt For ‘Most Difficult’ Title At ATP Finals

The world No.5 explains why the key to his latest match was keeping it short, but not necessarily winning.

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LONDON: Dominic Thiem isn’t going to be losing any sleep over his latest loss at the ATP Finals with the ultimate prize still in his sight.

 

Thiem, who qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament of Tuesday, was far from his best as he slumped to a straight-sets loss to Matteo Berrettini. Who has become the first Italian in history to win a match at the event. It is hard to read too much into Thiem’s latest performance with him openly admitting that his focus was on his upcoming semi-final clash. Highlighting one of the drawbacks of having a round-robin tournament with some matches providing irrelevant to the overall standings.

“Of course I was still trying to win that match, but also, at the same time, I knew in my head that I have to take care (of my body) for Saturday because obviously, it’s the way more important match,” Thiem explained during his press conference.
“I’m really trying to get the body going 100% for Saturday, and it wouldn’t be that smart if I would have another three-hour match today.”

The comments do not mean that Berrettini just had a walkover win and he was made to work for the victory. Which levels the head-to-head between the two players to 2-2. However, both would admit that with not much on the line there was a lack of intensity.

“I think that today was maybe even the weakest compared to those three (matches).” Thiem states.
“We had a great one in Shanghai. We had a great one in Vienna and also here. Of course, it affected a little bit that both of us, we couldn’t do anything about the standings in the group anymore.”

The 26-year-old has certainly illustrated his worthy candidacy to lift the title on Sunday in London following his previous triumphs. Earlier this week he scored back-to-back wins over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Should he end up playing Nadal over the weekend and win, he would become the first player to defeat all members of the Big Three in the same tournament since David Nalbandian at the 2007 Madrid Masters.

There is still a way to go for Thiem to clinch the biggest title of his career to date. The Austrian believes he if he does manage to win the tournament, any other title is not off-limits for him.

“I think that maybe this tournament is the most difficult to win because you have to beat five top 10 guys in a row. Okay, you can afford to lose one match maybe, but still, I’m 100% sure that if you win this title you can win, as well, any other title.” He explains.
“I haven’t done it yet, but I think that if you win this title, it gives you a lot of confidence for Australia (Open) because it’s the closest, but for the full next year as well.”

Few can dispute the fighting spirit of the Austrian on the court in London. However, after a long season, he admits that he isn’t fully healthy. A situation his rivals also find themselves in. Although some are struggling more than others at present.

“I’m not 100%, but it didn’t affect me in these three matches,” Thiem admits. “That’s why I also really need to be careful because I really hope I have two more matches so I can give all that I have and my own 100% in the remaining two matches.”

Thiem could play one of three players in the semi-finals depending on the outcome of Friday’s matches. Awaiting him will be either Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev or Daniil Medvedev. The only way he can play Nadal is if they both progress to the final.

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Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo secure their semifinal spot in the ATP Finals in London

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Former ATP Finals runners-up Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo battled past Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 10-7 after 1 hour and 44 minutes to finish the Group Jonas Bjorkman with a 2-1 round robin record.

 

Kubot and Melo came back from an early break down and fended off four set points before Ram and Salisbury converted their fifth chance to win the opening set 6-4.

Kubot and Melo fended off a break point in the seventh game with a great serve, before they converted their first break point in the 10th game.

Kubot and Melo won five consecutive points in the Match Tie-Break to open up a 6-2 lead. The Polish and Brazilian players converted their fourth match point to secure their spot in the semifinal.

 

 

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Matteo Berrettini Scores Historic Win Before Exit From ATP Finals

The 23-year-old ends his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour with another milestone in his career.

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LONDON: Matteo Berrettini has become the first Italian man in history to win a match at the ATP Finals after defeating Dominic Thiem on Thursday afternoon.

 

The world No.8 managed to dismantle the game of his rival, who was far from his best at times, with the help of his blistering serve to seal the 7-6(3), 6-3, victory. Ending Thiem’s streak of four consecutive wins over top 10 players, including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer earlier this week. In total Berrettini hit 30 winners to 21 unforced errors and converted both of his break point opportunities.

“I’ve always had great fights against him. I was able to stay mentally focused, especially in the first set when I lost my serve because I didn’t play a great game.” Berrettini said afterward.
“I’m really happy with my performance because I am not feeling great physically.” He added.

The downside to the round-robin format of the event is that some matches end up being irrelevant with this being one of them. Regardless of the outcome, Thiem has already qualified for the semi-finals and Berrettini is on his way out. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Italian was playing for pride at The O2 Arena.

A close start to the match saw neither playing managing to gain any momentum during the first eight games. Then inconsistencies in Thiem’s game started to haunt him. Berrettini’s ability to hit the ball deep into the court forced his rival to make a series of errors as he broke for a 5-4 lead. However, it was his turn to stumble behind his serve as Thiem broke back to level with relative ease.

Despite neither player capitalizing on their advantages, the tiebreaker was a one-sided encounter. Three Thiem unforced errors, as well as a winning Berrettini slice, saw him go behind 0-4 in the blink of an eye. Creating enough of a margin for Berrettini to seal the first set with the help of a 134 mph ace.

Thiem clearly looked flat on the court compared to two days ago when he downed Djokovic, however, nothing should be taken away from Berrettini. Who kept focus and stuck to his game plan throughout the match. A backhand passing shot, followed by a crosscourt winner enabled him to break once again midway through the second set. Easing towards victory after just 76 minutes play, Berrettini closed the match out with a delicate drop shot.

“I’m really proud of myself, but also for my team, my family and my friends. It’s been an unbelievable season.” He reflected on his year.
“I didn’t expect at the beginning of the season to be here (in London). I hope to come back next year, but now I just want to say thanks to those guys (his team). Without them, it couldn’t be possible.”
“I’m happy to finish with a win.“

Despite the loss, Thiem will finish at the top of the Bjorg Born Group. He will play the runner-up of the other group in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Whilst Berrettini’s ATP season is over, he can’t rest yet. Next week he will be in Madrid playing for his country in the Davis Cup along with many other of his fellow players.

“There is one more event. I have to rest a little bit and then I think I deserve a holiday.” He declared.

Berrettini ends 2019 with 43 wins on the ATP Tour in what is a career best. He started the year ranked 54th in the world and didn’t make his top 10 debut until last month.

Italian men in the ATP Finals

-C. Barazzutti in 1978 – 0 wins and 3 loses
-A. Panatta in 1975 – 0 wins and 3 losses
-M. Barrettini in 2019 – 1 win and 2 losses

 

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