Daniil Medvedev Claims Maiden Clay Title at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia

In a surprising turn of events, Daniil Medvedev, who had never previously won a match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, emerged as the champion in this year’s rainy edition. Overcoming challenges, both physical and mental, Medvedev displayed exceptional tennis skills, securing a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Holger Rune. This triumph not only marked his first ATP title on clay but also propelled him back to the world number two ranking in the ATP standings.

A Chess-like Battle in the First Set:

The initial set resembled a strategic game of chess, as both players meticulously analysed their opponent’s style, striving to minimise errors and concede as few points as possible. With the exception of a brief hiccup in the fifth game, when Medvedev faced two unexpected double faults, both athletes smoothly navigated their service games. The world number three successfully saved consecutive break points and went on to comfortably hold his serve for the remainder of the set.

Medvedev Seizes the Opening Set:

Trailing 6-5, Rune served to stay in the set for the second time, but he displayed signs of nervousness for the first time in the match. Medvedev promptly capitalised on this opportunity when the Dane played a weak dropshot, providing an assist that the third seed couldn’t miss. Suddenly, the set concluded in Medvedev’s favour with a score of 7-5.

Rune Fights Back:

Undeterred by his setback, Rune entered the court with renewed aggression in his gameplay, catching his opponent by surprise. The Dane converted his first break point of the match, taking the lead for the first time.

Medvedev’s Momentum Shift:

However, the tide soon turned in Medvedev’s favour. Down 2-0, the world number three adapted to his younger rival’s new strategy and began executing majestic passing shots. He won 15 of the next 18 points, securing three consecutive games and breaking back.

A Rollercoaster Battle:

The seesaw nature of the match continued as Rune managed to hold after a gruelling and tightly contested game. Opening the seventh game with a remarkable 38-shot rally, which he concluded with a stunning backhand down the line, Rune demonstrated his determination. Unfazed, Medvedev failed to notice the fatigue on the Dane’s face and committed some uncharacteristic errors, ultimately surrendering his serve once again.

Medvedev Holds Firm:

Rune held his ground, forcing Medvedev to play catch-up. Despite the pressure, the world number three rose to the occasion on his own serve. However, with the score at 5-4, the Dane had the opportunity to serve for the decider. Amidst nervous play and errors from both sides, Medvedev displayed resilience on his first chance to break back, ultimately forcing Rune’s error. Once again, the match was back to square one.

Medvedev Seizes the Victory:

Medvedev showcased his mental fortitude in a crucial hold, saving a break point with an impressive serve. This put Rune on the backfoot as he found himself trailing 6-5 once more. Echoing the first set, Rune faced three match points. Medvedev’s victory became a reality when the final shot of the tournament sailed long, prompting the Russian to raise his arms in triumph, claiming his first significant clay court title.

Medvedev’s Winning Secret:

Following his victory at the Italian Open, Daniil Medvedev disclosed a contributing factor to his remarkable form this year: his new racket strings. Utilising a different version of Technifbre strings since the Australian Open, the Russian world number two attributed the change to his recent success. The softer strings provided better ball control, allowing for improved depth and ease in his shots. Initially hesitant, Medvedev and his coach persisted with the new strings, and the results have been nothing short of extraordinary.

Daniil Medvedev’s sensational win at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia not only marked his maiden victory at the tournament but also his first major triumph on clay. Overcoming formidable opponents and battling both physically and mentally, Medvedev showcased his exceptional talent and resilience on the court. With his recent switch to softer racket strings, Medvedev has experienced a surge in his game, capturing five titles in a single year, the most in his career. As he continues to make waves in the tennis world, Medvedev’s Italian Open victory serves as a testament to his unwavering determination and evolving skill set.

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