Medvedev Lifts First Grass-Court Trophy In Mallorca
World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev took a confidence-boosting step forward on the eve of Wimbledon as he claimed the first grass-court title of his career at the Mallorca Championships.
Top seed Medvedev took down big-serving American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to claim his second title of the year (also Marseille) and his 11th ATP Tour crown.
“I’ve always liked playing on grass. Four years ago, I would say that it was my favourite surface. But after my results on hard courts I couldn’t say anything else other than hard courts, and I still like playing on hard courts more,” Medvedev said.
“It was important for me to get these things like titles going, because we don’t have a lot of tournaments [on this surface]. I’m happy to get this title, but I’m looking forward to the biggest challenge on grass, which is Wimbledon.”
Medvedev bounced back emphatically after his first-round exit at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle, where he fell to Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets. He dropped only one set en route to the title in Mallorca, earning victories against Corentin Moutet, fifth seed Casper Ruud and fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta on the way to the final. Medvedev is set to face Struff again for a shot at revenge when they meet again in the opening round at Wimbledon.
The Russian, who typically returns serve from deep behind the baseline, used his return stance to his advantage as he worked to neutralise the big Querrey serve. The American fired 65 aces en route to the final, an average of 21 aces per match. But he was unable to find the same firepower against Medvedev, who kept him contained to 11 aces.
“I felt like from the baseline, I was in control. I won almost all the points that were there from the baseline, so I felt like the most important thing was to return strong,” Medvedev said. “[He also] made some double faults on important moments, but that’s also because I put a lot of pressure on him, so he was feeling that he needs to go for maybe more than he’s used to.
“Tennis is many times a game of nerves more than [anything]. It’s a final, and I’m really happy with my performance. It was the best match of the tournament for me for sure.”
Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) June 26, 2021
Medvedev earned his first break chance at 3-3 in the opening set after a double fault from Querrey, one of five he struck in the match. He set up another break point after hitting a stunning lob over the 6’6” American before taking the lead.
He reached an even higher level in the second set, winning 93 per cent (13/14) of points behind his own big first serve. Medvedev didn’t face a break point in the match, and kept Querrey under pressure throughout. The top seed broke serve twice in the second set, and sealed the victory with his 10th ace of the match after 62 minutes.
“[This win] feels great because I came here trying to win some matches and I managed to do it. It’s always a good feeling and it gives you a lot of confidence,” he said. “Talking about Wimbledon or not, a title is a title. I’m very happy with my level, and I played my best match of the tournament today. Everything is only positive.”
Querrey was seeking his first ATP Tour title since 2017 in Los Cabos. He is now 10-10 in finals, and 8-9 on the season as he heads into Wimbledon.