After a tough s-Hertogenbosch final loss to world no. 205, the world's leading player Daniil Medvedev is back on track in Halle. The top seed ousted the 2019 finalist David Goffin 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes for a place in the second round.
It was their fourth meeting and the third victory for the Russian, who held everything under control for a flying start. David prevailed over Daniil three years ago in the Wimbledon five-setter, but he was far from that pace today.
Both players grabbed 19 points on the return, and world no. 1 played more efficient tennis when it mattered the most to race over the finish line. Medvedev fended off both break points and grabbed three return breaks from five opportunities to control the scoreboard and seal the deal in no time.
The Russian had 18 winners and ten unforced errors and made the difference with 20 service winners on his tally. Daniil forged the advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges and took charge in the most extended ones to control the pace and book a place in the second round.
Daniil Medvedev dismantled David Goffin in Halle.
Goffin came from 40-0 down in the opening game before Medvedev closed it with a service winner. The 2019 finalist forced an error from a better-ranked opponent to level the result at 1-1 and get his name on the scoreboard.
Daniil fired an ace to grab game three and denied the opponent's game points in the next one. The Russian earned a break chance and seized it after the Belgian's mistake to move 3-1 in front. Another unreturned serve closed the fifth game for Daniil before David reduced the deficit to 4-2 with a forehand down the line winner in game six.
A service winner pushed Medvedev 5-2 in front, and Goffin produced a quick hold a few minutes later to prolong the set. Daniil served for it at 5-3 and netted a backhand to experience a break point. World no. 1 denied it with a booming serve and seized the second serve point with an identical shot for 6-3 in 34 minutes.
Goffin netted a forehand in the second set's opening game to face a break point and erased it with a precise smash winner. The Russian created the second break chance and grabbed it with a backhand crosscourt winner after a loose drop shot from his opponent.
A service winner sent Medvedev 2-0 up, and he cracked a forehand crosscourt winner in the next one for three break points. Daniil converted the second with a backhand crosscourt return winner that sent him closer to the finish line.
The Russian landed a perfect drop shot to extend the lead to 4-0 before facing a break point at 4-1. He denied it after an entertaining exchange and brought the game home with an ace down the T line. Serving for the victory at 5-2, Medvedev held at 30 to seal the deal and make a winning start.