Danil Medvedev recalls his first ATP title in Sydney 2018 - UBITENNIS
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Danil Medvedev recalls his first ATP title in Sydney 2018

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Danil Medvedev made a major breakthrough during the 2019 summer season, when he won his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati before finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal in five sets in his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open. After winning his second Masters 1000 trophy in Shanghai last October he lost all his three round-robin matches at the ATP Finals in London. The Russian player lost to Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round at the Australian Open last January. Medvedev won 59 ATP matches in 2019 and reached the final in six consecutive tournaments. 

 

“The past two and a half years I tried to be really professional in everything I do. I dedicated my life to tennis, the small details. I want to be better. I want to play better. I want to win more matches than I win even now. That’s my goal and that’s what I am working for”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev won his first ATP title in Sydney in January 2018 beating Alex De Minaur in the final. The Russian player led 4-0 in the third set and served for the match at 5-4, but he let both leads slip. De Minaur clawed his way back both times but Medvedev earned another break to win the match 1-6 6-4 7-5. 

Medvedev remembered his first ATP title in Sydney in an interview to ATP Uncovered. 

“Probably two years before that I would have just said: “I don’t want this anymore”, and I would lose 7-5, but I managed to win it, my first title”. 

Since the start of the 2018 season Medvedev has won 110 ATP matches. The Russian star won two more titles in Winston Salem against Steve Johnson and in Tokyo against Kei Nishikori. Medvedev arrived in Sydney two years ago as World Number 84 and improved his ranking to world number 48. In Tokyo Medvedev dropped only five service points against Nishikori. 

“I managed to win my first title and I think it gave me a big push in the year. The push was not straight away, but I think this meant a lot for the season”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev will defend his Cincinnati title in New York at the end of August when the ATP Tour resumes after the five-month break. He wants to show that his win was not just luck.

Medvedev is one of the 16 top 20 players on the entry list at the Western and Southern Open, which will be held from 20 to 28 August at the Billie Jean King in New York. Last year Medvedev beat Novak Djokovic in the semifinal and David Goffin in the final. 

“Winning so many matches is not just luck. If I would have won one tournament in Cincinnati and then I lost everything in the first round, then we can say: “Okay maybe I was just lucky to be in good shape in Cincinnati. I am happy to maintain my level and hopefully I can do it for many more months and years”, said Medvedev. 

The entry list of this year’s Western and Southern Open features more former tournament champions like Rafael Nadal (2013), Marin Cilic (2016) and Grigor Dimitrov (2017) and Novak Djokovic (2018), world number 3 Dominik Thiem, last year’s US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini, 2019 ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, Felix Auger Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, 2018 ATP Finals champion and three-time Masters 1000 winner Alexander Zverev. 

The women’s Premier 5 tournament will feature two-time Cincinnati champion Serena Williams (2014, 2015), Karolina Pliskova (2016), Garbine Muguruza (2017), Kiki Bertens (2018) and Madison Keys (2019). 

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Casper Ruud rallies from one set down to beat local star Matteo Berrettini in Rome quarter finals

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Norway’s Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat local favourite Matteo Berrettini 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after nearly 3 hours on the famous Nicola Pietrangeli Court reaching the first Masters 1000 of his career at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Ruud has improved his win-loss record to 12-2 on clay this season after winning the Buenos Aires title and reaching the final in Santiago de Chile in last February’s Golden Swing last February. 

Ruud now leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Berrettini. The Scandinavian player player Berrettini at Roland Garros last year. Berrettini scored his only win over Ruud at the US Open this year. 

Ruud has improved on his father Christian’s record at Masters 1000 level. Christian reached his only quarter final at this level in Monte-Carlo in 1997. 

Berrettini broke serve after a double fault from Ruud on the break point in the first game. The 2019 US Open semifinal saved a total of three break points in the second, sixth and tenth games. Berrettini closed out the first set with a drop-shot on the set point and closed out the first set 6-4 with a forehand volley.

Ruud earned his first break in the second game of the second set to build up a 3-0 lead taking advantage of forehand errors from Berrettini. 

Berrettini saved a double break point with an ace at 2-5. Ruud held serve at love with a backhand error from Berrettini to close out the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the decider. Ruud converted his fourth break point in the first game to take a 1-0 lead with a forehand winner up the line. Berrettini broke back on his second chance in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Ruud came back from 2-4 down to win the tie-break 7-5 claiming his 17th win of the season. 

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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Hail Return Of Fans To Italian Open

The top two players on the ATP Tour give their reactions to the return of a crowd in Rome.

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Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have welcomed a government decision allowing fans to attend the Italian Open during its final two days.

 

On Friday Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora confirmed that 1000 people will be allowed to attend the event on both the semi-final and final days. A move the government minister describes as a ‘first but significant, step toward the return of normalcy in sports.’ Until now the tournament had been held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic amid fears that allowing a crowd to attend the event may trigger an outbreak of the virus. As part of the conditions there will be rules in force concerning mask wearing, social distancing and reserve seating.

“If we are going to have 1,000 people, it’s better than no people for sure because we all miss the fans, and part of our professional careers in sport is playing in front of them,” Djokovic said following his third round win over Filip Krajinović.
“I’m really glad that that’s going to happen.” He added.

The Italian Open will be the first major tennis tournament on the men’s Tour to welcome fans since resuming after its five-month break due to the pandemic. Both the Western and Southern Open, as well as the US Open, were held behind closed doors. Meanwhile, at the upcoming French Open plans for 11,500 fans to attend the event daily has been more than halved to 5000 following a ruling from French officials.

“The situation is how it is. Very difficult and very unpredictable, so it is normal that things are changing quickly,” Nadal commented on the changes surrounding crowd capacities.
“It is normal that the people who have to make decisions, they do with the best precaution possible. I don’t expect easy decisions and I don’t expect things are prepared in advance because it’s difficult to know how the pandemic evolves during day situations.’
“Changes can change a lot. So if the situation is good enough, fantastic.”

When it comes to where the semi-finals and finals of the tournament could be played due to the admission of fans, world No.1 Djokovic is hoping officials will stick to the premier court. Arguing that it is ‘much better quality’ than the other courts at the Foro Italico.

“I heard also they are considering to use Pietrangeli or NextGen court for semi-finals and finals,” he said.
“I hope it’s not the case, because the quality of the clay and quality of the centre court is, in my opinion, much better than the other courts.”

In order for both Djokovic and Nadal to play in front of Italian fans they must both come through their quarter-final matches. Djokovic will play German qualifier Dominik Koepfer and Nadal locks horns with eighth seed Diego Schwartzman.

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Novak Djokovic Survives Krajinovic Battle To Seal Last Eight Berth In Rome

Novak Djokovic reached an 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@ATPTour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic survived a tough battle in Rome to beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(7) 6-3 to reach the last eight.

 

Although the World Number one got the victory, it was a tough battle as he fought his compatriot for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Breaks were shared to start the match as Krajinovic brought his fearless game to the top seed.

Djokovic created a total of ten break points, with only one executed as Krajinovic saved two set points in the tenth game to hold for 5-5.

After two comfortable holds, a tiebreak settled the winner of the first set as Djokovic was having a hard time to contain Krajinovic’s power.

The world number one battled from 3-0 down to edge the tiebreak 9-7 and win the opening set in 88 minutes.

Once Djokovic had survived the Krajinovic stormed, he took control and went into another gear as a break of serve in the third game was all that was needed to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

Winning 47% of his 2nd return points was key as Djokovic reaches his 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final of his career.

Next for Djokovic will be either talented teen sensation Lorenzo Musetti or Dominik Koepfer.

In other results today, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov set a last eight showdown after tight three set wins.

Shapovalov edged out Ugo Humbert 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 while Dimitrov defeated Jannik Sinner 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a tough match.

There were also third round wins for Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini.

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