Daniil Medvedev wins the final of the Internazionali d'Italia by beating Holger Rune in straight sets, with the result 7-5, 7-5. A result that allows him to win the sixth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career, the first on clay-courts.
The game of the two tennis players is known to both and known to all: Rune should attack, Medvedev should defend. In the first set this scheme gives an almost perfect balance. When the Norwegian is allowed to attack, he doesn't always take advantage of it, but tries to slow down the pace, almost as if he wanted to play the same game as his opponent.
If it's not strength and arrogance, there's a serve and volley and he does it above all on a second serve. Opposite, however, is one of the greatest defenders of the current circuit. The Russian always gives everything back and with this scheme he gets married.
The number three in the world, in this balance as harmonious as it is precarious, seems slightly ahead, because he is able to push with his serve and make fewer mistakes, as he always does. A balance that risks shattering in the twelfth game: at 6-5 for Medvedev, Rune gives him a break point, as well as a precious set point.
The Dane insists on calling the Russian to the net, but not only is the drop shot too high, but the US Open champion gets there comfortably and closes the practice first set. Of the strength to never give up Rune has made it a distinctive figure.
He changes tactics and pushes, pushes as hard as he can. He surprises Medvedev and wins the break on the first service game. An advantage that doesn't last long, because the Russian has the quality of intuiting the counter move in a few minutes of the game.
Certainly the madness of the Dane is not lacking, which he concedes too much with incorrect choices. However, Medvedev follows him and at 3-3 gives a break, with two wrong slaps and a double fault to top it all off. So Rune goes to serve for the match: he drops slightly, the Russian becomes an impenetrable wall and the counter break is served.
It's up to Rune to serve to stay in the match. And yet, Medvedev finds himself having three match points on the Dane's serve: in the second Medvedev makes it concrete.