- Daniil Medvedev defeated Holger Rune in the final of the 2023 Rome Masters
- Medvedev captured his first clay-court trophy with Sunday’s superb victory
- He had never won a match playing in the Italian Open before this season
Daniil Medvedev captured the first clay-court title of his career on Sunday, beating Holger Rune in the final of the 2023 Italian Open.
He defeated the Danish star 7-5, 7-5, in a match that lasted one hour and 41 minutes.
The 27-year-old has clinched an ATP Tour-leading five titles this 2023 season, including the Masters 1000 trophy in Miami last month.
Medvedev talked about his unlikely victory in an on-court interview after the match, saying:
"Honestly, I didn't believe I could win a Masters 1000 on clay in my career.”
He added that the hard court remains his only love in tennis, but he definitely likes clay courts much more now.
Medvedev wins in straight sets
The start of Sunday’s final was delayed by one hour and 40 minutes due to rain. That didn’t affect the players, who were both solid with their service games to start the match.
Medvedev and Rune both held serve through the first 11 games.
However, the eventual champion struck first, taking advantage of a poor drop shot in the 12th game to take the first set 7-5, per BBC Sport.
Rune bounced back at the start of the second set, immediately breaking Medvedev’s opening service game and holding to grab a 2-0 advantage.
The two traded breaks after that, with the Norwegian holding a 4-3 lead heading into the eighth game.
However, Rune couldn’t close it out as Medvedev broke his serve twice in the next five games to win the championship.
It was a stunning victory for the Russian, who had not won a match in his previous three appearances in the Rome Masters.
Medvedev was in fine form this year, though, beating 2017 champion, Alexander Zverev and 2022 finalist, Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the title, per ATPTour.com.
Nadal to miss French Open
Sports Brief recently reported on tennis veteran, Rafael Nadal’s French Open withdrawal.
The 14-time champion failed to recover from his injury in the Australian Open last January.
Nadal will not participate in the clay-court Grand Slam for the first time in 19 years.