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Medvedev Wins Rotterdam Title

Feb 21st 2023

In the final of the ABN AMRO Open, Daniil Medvedev defeated Jannik Sinner 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 29 minutes.

This is Medvedev’s 16th tour-level title and his first since 2022 Vienna, where he defeated Sinner in the quarterfinal and went on to win the title.

Medvedev is now back in the Top 10 in the ATP rankings at world No. 8, after having been world No. 1 in 2022 for 16 weeks.

It was clear from the six-minute opening game that Medvedev would make Sinner suffer on his serve. Though Sinner won the game, after many exhausting rallies, he must have thought: I have to do that every time I serve.

REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Sinner, who is always calm and composed, did play a brilliant first set. At 2-1, he played the game to perfection and did not let Medvedev get into his groove. Medvedev missed a volley and Sinner got the break for 3-1. Sinner kept crushing backhands, stepping inside out for forehand winners. The Italian used the tactic of serve and volley well, with soft hands for the drop volley. He hit terrific overheads, deft dropshots. In the first set, especially, he served incredibly well.

But Medvedev is so effective on his groundstrokes, always making you play one more ball, finding the angle for a winner. His serve is big, and he can get free points at important times. He’s so smart on the court. He can read the game so well. By the end of the first set, he was reading Sinner’s very good dropshot and hitting a winner.

The beginning of the second set was a bit of a turning point. Sinner just missed his opportunity. His level dipped, and Medvedev took over.

The Russian broke in the first game at 15 and held at 15 for a 2-love lead. He broke again at 3-1, though it took four break points. By then, it was clear that Sinner was hurting, and his energy level had dropped. Medvedev was in full control.

Sinner had to work really hard to win that first set. In the first set, he was more daring going into the net. Perhaps in the second and third, the longer rallies taking their toll, he was just too tired to go to the net anymore.

Sinner played at such a high level in the first set, but he just couldn’t hang on to that level because of the toughness of Medvedev.

The Russian’s unorthodox lanky loose strokes produced what the Italian didn’t want, making him work hard continuously and making him uncomfortable. Sinner broke down from this. The rallies became too long, and Sinner began taking risks and making more errors and giving away free points. Then Medvedev was working less hard and winning most of the points. And even when the Russian made an occasional error, he found his rhythm right away. Medvedev doesn’t give away anything.

Medvedev said: “It was a very tough match, I would say mentally for both of us, I think, because Jannik was on top of me, especially in the first part of the first set. I managed to come back into the set even though, in my opinion, I was playing worse than him. Maybe that gave me some time to find my rhythm because we were playing some long rallies and almost all the time it was me missing at the end. Because I was heavy on the legs or something like this.

So beginning of the second set I’m like something is not working. He’s playing better than me at this moment. I need to change something but just a little bit. Because it’s really close.

I started playing just a little bit more offensive on a few shots, and it managed to work well at the beginning of the second set. I just managed to continue kind of pushing him mentally down until the end of the match.”