Rome (EFE).- Daniil Medvedev only needed to win on clay, his enemy surface, and the Russian, champion of the United States Open in 2021, who has always been reticent with clay, did not miss the great opportunity of receiving his doctorate in the Masters 1,000 in Rome against the Danish Holger Rune, one of the promises of the circuit, whom he beat in two sets, by a double 7-5, after an intense exchange of blows of almost two hours.
After the storm, calm came in Rome. Also in the match, in which the great start of the Dane, always rebellious, a whirlwind on the courts, was gradually extinguished by the calm and coldness of the Russian, who, with more experience in grand finals, handled himself perfectly to withstand the attacks of the Dane and strike at the perfect moment.
And that is not easy for Medvedev on clay, a surface that has historically been elusive but in Rome has become his best ally. He beat Zverev in the round of 16 and his ‘friend of his’ Tsitsipas in the semi-finals to reach the first final of his career on this ground. The Muscovite did not let her escape, who left Rome with a new record that can shake an orphaned Roland Garros without Rafa Nadal.
The rain in your favor
The Russian was probably the only tennis player happy with the constant rain and humidity in the Italian capital, as they allowed him to grow little by little on a clay where he found himself at home in the final, displaying a much higher level than that he showed in other editions.
As expected, in an open match and without favorites due to the weather conditions and the characteristics of both, the first set was very even. The Dane entered on a better footing, who had two ‘break’ balls that he wasted in the fifth game and that took their toll on him at the end of this match because seeing himself against the ropes, seeing how everything he had worked for in these two weeks could come to nothing, they gave life to a Medvedev who began to carburete and feel confident.
Then came the longest exchanges that annulled Rune, accompanied by two impossible blows, close to the line, which made even the Dane laugh, who resigned himself to the level of his rival, superior in the final stretch. So much so that, with the score at 6-5, he got the first break of the match to win the first set.
A “break” to open the second set
But the joy of Medvedev, who was already visualizing his first trophy on clay, vanished after another overwhelming start by Rune, who materialized a ‘break’ with which he breathed and took the lead (2-0). The problem is that, as in the first set, after the storm came the calm. Once again Medvedev, undaunted by Rune’s outburst, knew how to hold on and skilfully manage the moment of weakness to become strong and hit back shortly after, with three games in a row that put him ahead again (3-2).
Medvedev’s positive inertia made a Rune tremble, who saw himself, for an instant, incapable, but who drew strength from where he did not have to get his serve forward and celebrate with anger and relief in equal parts the tie at three that still left him. gave life So much so that he returned all three games to the Russian and placed 5-3 up, with a serve to end the set.
The joy quickly turned into worry and despair for the young promise. She gave the Dane vertigo at another key moment of the game and allowed Medvedev to recover with several unforced errors, several long balls. And the Muscovite did not spare. He did not let Rune, in another attack of rebellion, break him again and saved a breaking point to make it 6-5, which, at least, guaranteed him a tie-break.
You didn’t have to get to that point. Rune was already overwhelmed by the situation, completely controlled by a Medvedev who took advantage of two ‘break’ balls to kneel on the clay, celebrating for the first time on this surface, a late doctorate but which comes at an unbeatable moment, to the doors of the most important ‘Grand Slam’ in clay.