Medvedev Races Past Ruud To Reach Mallorca SFs

Russian seeking his first grass-court title

Top seed Daniil Medvedev has reached the third grass-court semi-final of his career after taking down Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-1 at the Mallorca Championships on Thursday.

The Russian bounced back emphatically after his opening-round defeat at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle (l. to Struff) to move into the last four without dropping a set. Medvedev has previously reached this stage at The Queen’s Club in 2019 and Eastbourne in 2017. 

“I feel like it was a funny match. Maybe [it was] not the highest level, but I’m really happy to win and be in the semi-finals here. I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Medvedev said in an on-court interview.

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Medvedev served up a great performance against Ruud with eight aces and 87 per cent (26/30) of points won behind his first serves. He didn’t face a break point in the first set, where he only lost one point behind his first serve (17/18). 

The top seed had Ruud under pressure, and he finally broke through late in the opening set. Medvedev broke the Norwegian’s serve five times in a row to take the first set and romp through the second, winning nine of the last 10 games. He sealed the match with a drop shot and a put-away volley to move into the semi-finals after one hour and 17 minutes.

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“I don’t think grass is his best surface, but in the first set he was playing top level and I couldn’t get any break points,” Medvedev said. “But as soon as he started serving a bit worse and making some errors, I tried to use it as fast as I could. It was important to win the first set and not in a tie-break, this gives me a boost of confidence.”

Medvedev will next face home favourite Pablo Carreno Busta, the fourth seed, for a place in his first grass-court final. Medvedev has won 10 ATP Tour titles, all of them coming on hard courts.

Carreno Busta saved all three break points he faced as he edged past Jordan Thompson 6-4, 6-4. He is through to his first semi-final on the surface since Antalya in 2019 (l. to Sonego). The Spaniard trails Medvedev 1-2 in their ATP Head2Head.

Sam Querrey and Adrian Mannarino will meet in the second Mallorca semi-final after scoring big wins over Spanish opponents on Thursday.

The 31-year-old American took down third seed Roberto Bautista Agut, firing a head-turning 25 aces on the way to a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory. Querrey saved all three break points faced, including a set point late in the second at 5-6 to send them into a tie-break and reach his second semi-final of the grass-court season (also Stuttgart). Mannarino halted Feliciano Lopez’s milestone Mallorca run with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard. The Frenchman weathered 15 aces from Lopez, breaking serve twice en route to victory.  

Querrey and Mannarino are tied at 3-3 in their ATP Head2Head, with Mannarino winning the first three matches of their rivalry and Querrey the three most recent; all their previous meetings have come on hard courts.