Daniil Medvedev defeats Holger Rune to clinch the Italian Open title

Daniil Medvedev secured the first clay court title of his career by defeating Holger Rune in the Italian Open final
Daniil Medvedev defeated Holger Rune to win the Italian Open
Daniil Medvedev defeated Holger Rune to win the Italian Open

(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev defeated Denmark’s Holger Rune 7-5 7-5 to secure his first clay-court title of his career. It was the Russian’s fifth title of the season and he now enters the Roland Garros, which begins on May 28th as one of the favourites, particularly in Rafael Nadal’s absence. The 27 year old built his reputation on hard courts, with 18 out of his 19 titles coming on that surface while the one other was on grass in Mallorca. Medvedev has a win-loss record of 33-0 after claiming the first set in 2023, a staggering record to say the least.

Speaking after the match, Medvedev said “Honestly, I didn’t believe I could win a Masters 1000 on clay in my career because usually I hated it. I hated playing on it; I don’t feel good on it, like nothing was working. [But] before this tournament already in Madrid and Monte Carlo, I was kind of feeling not too bad. I didn’t have any big tantrums. I came here and I felt amazing at practice. 

“I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s happening, but I feel amazing. Let’s see how it goes’. But then you need to play the toughest opponents in the world to try to make it and I’m really happy that I managed to do it and prove myself and everybody that I’m capable of doing it. Who would have thought that I would be standing here? I honestly didn’t. I don’t know about you guys, but I honestly didn’t think so – but it happened.”

The match began nearly two hours late due to rain and Medvedev started on the front foot, breaking in the 12th game where he countered a feeble drop shot by Rune with a powerful drive to secure the first set. At just 20 years old, Rune was the youngest finalist at the Italian Open since Rafael Nadal 17 years ago and the Dane broke to love in the first game of the second set and managed to get a 4-3 lead. However, the world number 7 couldn’t maintain the intensity and physicality of the clash and gave the advantage back to Medvedev who produced a tight hold with two huge serves and wrapped up his victory in style. 

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