That’s it, Daniil Medvedev is back. It was certainly “only” ATP 250, but the Russian did the job on Saturday against Cameron Norrie (7-5, 6-0) in Los Cabos, Mexico. On his comeback after a month and a half away from the courts, the 26-year-old wins his first-ever tournament of the season – the first since the US Open a year ago – and fixes what seemed to be one of the main anomalies of the season.
ATP Santa Ponsa
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After having stumbled three times in the final in 2022, Medvedev this time left no chance to his opponent, yet one of the most in-form players on the circuit in recent weeks. The match will have been hung for a little less than an hour, the two men engaging in a funny crossover. Norrie had also drawn the first by taking the service of the world number one at 3-2, after a big fight. Medvedev responded well immediately, signing two consecutive shutouts, to put himself in an ideal position at 5-3.
A bleed, and it starts again for Medvedev
But the 10th in the world had the merit of never giving up, continuing the battle from the baseline to dismiss two set points and pick up five everywhere. “When you play against him you know you have to fight on every point, reacted the Russian after the match. We broke several times and I knew I just had to stay in the game.“Titillated, injured even – he had to have a bloody phalanx treated – Medvedev never got frustrated. “I knew I had to hang in there. My bleeding actually helped me a little, I think, I was able to control my nerves a little more. From there, I managed to play better, and that’s what was needed today.“
And tickling the Russian ogre ended up waking the beast. The match then turned to correction, the leader of the ATP ranking collecting the winning points, especially on his service. By taking the first round, Medvedev had done the hardest part. So he took it upon himself to make his task as easy as possible to keep his balance sheet for the week immaculate: two points lost on his serve in the second set, constant aggression and a match folded in just 1h21.
For a return to rhythm, it is successful, he who could not take part in Wimbledon following the decision of the organizers not to admit Russian and Belarusian players. This first coronation of the season comes at the right time, because Medvedev is now entering the part of the season where he has been the most dangerous in recent seasons. He will start by defending his title at the Canadian Masters 1000, contested this season in Montreal for men, starting next week. Before approaching a US Open of which he is almost paradoxically the big favorite, for someone who had played so little lately. Djokovic unvaccinated, Nadal injured, looks like an ideal path for Medvedev. And as in addition, he opened his appetite for trophies…
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