Daniil Medvedev three-peats on hard courts thanks to Dubai win
Daniil Medvedev completed a hat-trick of ATP Tour hard court titles when he blew past Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-2 to win the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships on Saturday.
Medvedev, also a champion in Rotterdam and Doha, ended Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten start to the season in the semi-finals in Dubai before extending his lead in the head-to-head against Rublev.
He admitted that he had begun to doubt himself after the Australian Open, but rattling off three wins and beating the world No 1 has bolstered the confidence of Medvedev.
“It is amazing because at the start of the year, it was not perfect. In tennis when you don’t win matches you have doubts. Now it just feels better,” Medvedev said.
“I was really happy with these three weeks and I am looking forward to the next ones.”
Medvedev also snatched back the status of being the No 1 ranked male player from Russia in the process as he ensured that he would leapfrog Rublev into sixth on the standings.
He insists that his matches against Rublev are always torturous affairs that could go either way despite downing his compatriot five times in their seven ATP Tour-level meetings.
“It was very tactical [match],” Medvedev said. “I know Andrey can cause a lot of trouble to everyone on Tour. Every time we play he tries to make me suffer, I try to make him suffer. Today I managed to be on top, but the next match could be a different story.”
Next up for the streaking former No 1 is the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where he will attempt to extend his winning streak, Medvedev will compete after earning his 18th tour-level championship there.
The former World No. 1 is six victories away from matching his best ATP Tour winning streak, which he achieved between November 2020 and January 2021.
In the last week, Medvedev has not lost a set, and he was close to his best against Rublev and frustrated the second seed no end.
The 27-year-old once again sat far behind the baseline to absorb Rublev’s powerful hitting, and made just two unforced errors in the opening set.
After winning the opening frame, Medvedev kept on finding the ideal mix of defence and attack while Rublev couldn’t come up with any answers to the rock-solid gameplan deployed by his rival.
Medvedev broke Rublev twice in the second set to secure his triumph, having used his accurate crosscourt forehand to turn the tables in baseline exchanges.
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