ATP Rome: Daniil Medvedev wins first ATP title on clay!
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 1412
After 18 ATP titles on hard court and one on grass, Daniil Medvedev claimed his first ATP crown on clay on Sunday at Foro Italico. Daniil secured his sixth different Masters 1000 crown in Rome following a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 victory over Holger Rune in an hour and 42 minutes in the title clash.
Medvedev came to Rome with no wins at this event, changing that this season and cementing his ATP Race lead ahead of Carlos Alcaraz. Also, the Russian will be the 2nd seed at Roland Garros, passing Novak Djokovic and sending the Serb out from the top-2.
Daniil and Holger had to wait almost two hours to start the final, with the rain tormenting the action at this year's Rome Masters. However, the weather allowed them to complete the duel without interruptions, and a better-ranked player had the upper hand in the decisive moments to avoid a decider and lift the trophy.
Holger served at 49% and struggled behind the initial shot despite giving his best.
Daniil Medvedev defeated Holger Rune in two tight sets in the Rome final.
He dropped serve four times and seized only two break points to finish runner-up.
Medvedev had 19 winners and 21 unforced errors, and Rune brought a 20-25 ratio. The Dane struggled at the net and pushed the Russian slightly in front in the shortest and most advanced rallies. The encounter kicked off with four commanding holds before Medvedev faced two break points at 2-2.
He denied them with service winners and grabbed four straight points to avoid an early deficit. The servers were too strong in the following five games, and Holger held at 30 for 5-5 after 38 minutes. Daniil held at love in game 11 for 6-5 and stepped in on the return in the next one.
The Russian grabbed a break with a running forehand crosscourt winner for 7-5 after 47 minutes. Holger broke at love at the start of the second set to forge his first advantage before Daniil landed a backhand down the line winner in game four to pull it back and level the score at 2-2.
The Dane grabbed another break at love in game seven after the rival's drive-forehand mistake and served for the set at 5-4. Daniil claimed an extended rally and broke back to level the score at 5-5 and gain a boost. Holger created a break chance with a drop shot winner in game 11, and Daniil denied it with an ace down the T line.
Rune served to stay in the match at 5-6 and faced three match points after a backhand mistake. Medvedev seized the second to start a massive celebration of his first ATP success on clay.