Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday May 20, 2023

Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev earned his fist Top 10 win on clay since 2019, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the Rome final.

Photo Source: TTV

Once an afterthought on the red clay, and seemingly dreading this section of the season, Daniil Medvedev has changed his tune in 2023, and the sweet song of victory is now echoing off his racquet strings.

Tennis Express

The Russian improved to 9-2 on clay in 2023 with an eye-catching victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday in a soggy, rain-interrupted affair that featured four and a half hours of rain delay.

Medvedev, who improved to 38-5 on the season and sets a final with 20-year-old Dane Holger Rune on Sunday, gave insight into his mindset after coming through the mentally challenging affair.

“I enjoyed playing today,” Medvedev said after earning his first Top 10 win on clay in over four years. “I mean it was very tough with the rain delays – I warmed up like six or seven times. Actually sometimes it can throw you off and you can be a little bit angry with the situation, but today I don’t know why, I was just kind of laughing."

Perhaps that explains his victory dance. Part celebration of his newfound clay form, part laugh-to-keep-from-crying after a ridiculously long day, the king of the ironic post-match celebration was at it again on Friday.

Medvedev's patience has shone through all week in Rome, where the 27-year-old had never won a single match prior to this week in three prior appearances. What a difference a year makes -- Medvedev has now notched five victories and will play his biggest clay court final, and first since 2019 in Barcelona, on Sunday at the Foro Italico.

The Russian finished with 18 winners and 23 unforced errors -- he converted all four break points that he saw.

Tsitsipas hit 23 winners against 32 unforced errors. He had chances in both sets but was ultimately undone by late lapses that opened the door for the opportunistic Medvedev to pounce.

The 24-year-old Greek drops to 27-8 on the season with his loss, and 13-6 at Rome.

Medvedev bidding for first clay title

The 19-time ATP Tour titlist has won 18 of his titles on hard courts, and the other on grass. He will bid for his first on clay against the man who took down Casper Ruud earlier on Saturday. Rune easily brushed Medvedev aside 6-3 6-4 in the quarterfinals at Monte-Carlo last month, but since then Medvedev has started employing his drop shot more and moving better on the surface.

He showed off both improvements against Tsitsipas as he broke open both sets with a critical break at 5-all to march to his eight victory over the Greek in 12 meetings. To ease past a former Roland-Garros and Rome finalist so assertively says a lot about Medvedev’s recent transformation.

Whether or not he can claim the title on Sunday he will enter Roland-Garros with a good chance at a deep run.


Latest News