Unlike in the past, tall players are producing a rounded and balanced game that has propelled them towards the top of men's tennis. Alongside booming serve and powerful forehand, they move great, return even better and play well from both wings and often at the net.
Many players born after 1995 have already accomplished a lot while using all the advantages of their skills and incredible balance between attacking and defending. Last week in Toronto, Daniil Medvedev (198 cm) and Reilly Opelka (211 cm) reached the title clash and forged the tallest Masters 1000 final.
At 211 cm, Reilly became the tallest Masters 1000 finalist, taking the title away from his compatriot John Isner, who lost to Medvedev in the semis. The Russian was a player to beat in Canada, surviving Hubert Hurkacz in the quarters and storming over tall Americans to lift the trophy in style, dropping 11 games against Isner and Opelka combined!
Reilly produced a massive win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semis to earn the record, although he stood no chance against Medvedev, who beat him 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 25 minutes for the fourth Masters 1000 crown. The American squandered all four break chances in two different games and lost 44% of the points in his games to suffer three breaks and propel Medvedev over the top.
The Russian had 16 winners and 13 unforced errors, while the American counted to 22 direct points but also 34 unforced mistakes. Reilly could not repeat the numbers he had against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the net and struggled in the more extended exchanges to settle with a runner-up prize.
Daniil Medvedev beat Reilly Opelka in straight sets to lift the Canada Open crown.
Opelka brought the opening game home with an ace before Medvedev landed one of his own to get his name on the scoreboard. The American closed the third game with another booming serve and earned three break chances in the next one that could have sent him ahead and gain confidence.
Medvedev saved those and held with an unreturned serve to avoid an early setback. That game became even more critical when the Russian broke with a return winner to forge a 3-2 advantage a few minutes later. In the seventh game, the American fended off two break chances to avoid an even bigger disaster before Medvedev held at 15 with a service winner in game ten for 6-4.
Opelka survived a break chance at the beginning of the second set before Medvedev found a way to break him at 1-1 following his rival's double fault. Daniil erased a break point in the sixth game to keep the serve intact, and that exchange illustrated what Reilly had to do to win the point against the Russian.
Eager to seal the deal as soon as possible, Medvedev secured another break at 5-3 to move over the top and celebrate the fourth Masters 1000 crown.