Medvedev Moves Past Moutet In Mallorca Opener
Medvedev arrived in Mallorca looking to ‘get some confidence’ on the natural surface after bowing out in the first round of the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle (l. to Struff) last week. The victory over Moutet improved his career record on grass to 19-13. The Russian has previously reached the semi-finals at Eastbourne in 2017 and at Queen’s Club in 2019.
“In the beginning I couldn’t hit two balls in the court and I was missing lots of serves when I had 40/0. On grass, that’s not the best thing to do in my first [service] game of the match,” Medvedev said in an on-court interview. “But I’m really happy that I managed to win the match because that’s what gives [me] confidence and [hopefully] in the next rounds I can play better.”
Standing between Medvedev and a third grass-court semi-final will be fifth seed Casper Ruud, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Tennys Sandgren. Medvedev leads their ATP Head2Head 1-0 after scoring a victory over him during Russia’s ATP Cup tie against Norway in 2020.
“Casper is a great player, he jumped a lot this year [in the FedEx ATP Rankings],” Medvedev said. “Hopefully the grass can help me a little bit because it’s not his best surface. But I’m sure he is playing good here and I need to be at my best.”
The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion was off to a slow start against Moutet on Mallorca’s centre court, dropping serve early and trailing 0-3 as he struggled to handle the Frenchman’s drop shots and low-bouncing forehands. But once he found his rhythm, Medvedev began firing winners off both wings as he reeled off the last five games of the opening set to take the lead.
Medvedev carried his momentum into the second set, where he didn’t face a break point in seven games as he chipped away at the Frenchman’s defences. The top seed won 80 per cent (33/41) of points behind his first serve to keep Moutet on the back foot.
After taking a double-break 5-2 lead, Medvedev ran into a late wobble as Moutet saved two match points and created three break opportunities. But Medvedev shut down the comeback with one of his six aces, and earned a long forehand return to seal the victory after an hour and 23 minutes.