Daniil Medvedev went through a tough long match against Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach his first ever ATP Masters 1000 final on clay after a 7-5 7-5 victory. The world number three played a much more clutch tennis on the key points -4/4 on break points- to take down last year’s finalist celebrating it in style with a little dance.
The match immediately started with both players having to bear with rain delay: right after the warmup, the two had to wait to kick off their battle sitting on their chairs. Tsitsipas served well in the first two points, but immediately lost composure with a double fault and two errors to give Medvedev a break point. The world number three hit a return winner to take the first game.
Medvedev managed to hold on the break advantage, but Tsitsipas started finding his groove, especially with his forehand. On the 9th game, the Greek dictated with that shot and took the break back to tie his rival on 4-4.
Then rain came again and the match was forced a longer stop. But when the two returned on court, it was only for one game: Tsitsipas fell 0-30 behind his serve, but managed to hold just in time for another interruption.
One hour and forty minutes later, they returned to court and Medvedev had the best impact. He held his serve and then started to pinpoint the Greek’s backhand, who crumbled from 40-0 and surrendered his serve with a double fault. An easy final game sealed the first set in favour of the world number three with a 7-5 score.
The third seed kicked off the second set just as well, passing Tstitsipas twice in the same game to take a break, as the Greek looked in despair trying to find a way to make points.
Last year’s finalist managed to finally find more consistency behind his baseline shots and with the support of the whole stadium chanting his name, he broke back to hit 3-3.
Medvedev served himself out of troubles in the following game and it looked like he could weather the storm the Tsitsipas was trying to mount.
Once again, the eleventh game was to be the deciding moment of the match: the Greek got himself in the position to close the game, but the pressure of the moment and an inspired opponent made a swift change of direction in the scoreboard. Medvedev broke and with a strong baseline game and serve, he held for a spot in his maiden clay court Masters 1000 final against Holger Rune.
“I did a dance at the US Open and it was famous and I liked the gif,” he commented right after celebrating his victory with a little dance: “Let’s see what comes out of this, because when you do it, it’s like being at the club completely drunk: you feel like you are the God of the dancefloor, but when they show you the video it is not the thing. I was just happy to be on my first clay masters final.”
Apart from the dance, the world number three played a great match and looked the best at coping with the delays.
“I enjoyed playing today, it was very tough with the rain delays and all the warmups. Sometimes it can throw you off, you can be angry on the situation but instead I was laughing about the situation. When we came to play, it is what I managed to do”.