Masters 1000 Rome – final –
Daniil Medvedev was crowned this Sunday as champion of the Masters 1000 in Rome, after beating the Danish Holger Rune in one hour and 43 minutes (7-5 and 7-5). The Russian tennis player, number 3 in the world, has managed to break a curse that had haunted him since the beginning of his career, since he had never won a tournament on clay. He has achieved it with a few hours less rest than his rival and with that poise that has been attributed to him many times when facing moments of maximum tension. That long-awaited tranquility has allowed him to leave Tsitsipas on the road in the semifinal and minimize Rune’s momentum in the final, without conceding a single set in both matches.
This rough edition of the ATP in Rome has been through water and its last day has not been an exception. The final started almost two hours late due to rain. However, despite the fact that the color of the sky threatened, the game could be played without interruptions. The final at the Foro Itálico, the second most prestigious venue of the clay season after Roland Garros, was an opportunity that both tennis players could not miss with Alcaraz and Djokovic out of action. For Rune, it could be the most important title of his career after a difficult start to 2023; for Medvedev, the end of his curse with clay a few weeks after visiting Paris.
In a first sleeve with a dog’s face, there were only three balls of break. The first two for Rune were saved by Medvedev in the third game and the third, for Medvedev, was decisive as a set ball. The Dane seemed more toned, brimming with confidence after eliminating Djokovic, but his rival was unerring in the key moments of the match. The Russian’s ten winners to Rune’s five were key. Too much for the Nordic, born in 2003 as Alcaraz and become the youngest finalist in Rome since Nadal in 2006.
Although the blow did not seem to affect Rune, who broke Medvedev’s serve in the first game of the second set. But the game opened up and the advantage did not last long. The world number 3 left samples of his enormous quality to the rest to tie the second set in the fourth game, and although Rune went up 5-3 after a new break and predicted a third set at the Foro Italico, the Russian still had the final blow ready.
A new break of Medvedev when Rune served to win ended up morally sinking Rune, whose body language was already that of a defeated tennis player. And with a new break in the twelfth game, Medvedev eluded the tie-breaker and finished the game in Rome without fanfare. Great start to the season for the Russian, a hard court specialist who wants to broaden his horizons. Having overcome the barrier of his first prize on his cursed surface, he now points to Paris, an appointment for which all the roosters on the circuit are already sharpening their swords.
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