Medvedev Cruises To Sofia Open Title
Daniil Medvedev continued his solid start to 2019 with another outstanding performance at the Sofia Open, defeating Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-3 in Sunday's final.
"I was feeling under pressure and really nervous, so I'm really happy that I managed to win the title," said Medvedev. "Marton was playing good and was making some great shots, so I needed to stay present [in] every moment of the match and that's what I did."
The third seed, ranked No. 16 in the ATP Rankings, won 70 per cent of his first-serve points to prevail in 81 minutes. Medvedev was particularly impressive in his return games, winning all but three of his second-serve return points (19/22) against Fucsovics and converting on four of nine break opportunities. He held in 36 of his 40 service games throughout the week (90%).
"Daniil is a very tough player. He's improved a lot and has the potential to break into the Top 10," said Fucsovics. "He was serving well today [and] was very consistent from the baseline. He didn't give me any easy mistakes. This is still one of the best weeks of my career and I'm very happy to be back in the Top 40 again."
Medvedev picked up his first ATP Tour title of 2019 and the fourth of his career, having won three events in 2018 (Sydney, Winston-Salem and Tokyo). He improves to 11-2 on the season.
The Russian has become a staple of weekend play in ATP Tour events over the past six months. Since the 2018 US Open, Medvedev has reached at least the semi-finals in five of his past nine events and made his maiden appearance in the second week of a Grand Slam at the Australian Open. This is his second appearance in a championship match this season, finishing runner-up in Brisbane (l. to Nishikori).
Medvedev and Fucsovics opened Sunday's final with a series of routine service holds, followed by trading a pair of back-to-back breaks to even the set at 4-4. The Russian slowly wore Fucsovics down with a mix of looping forehands and slice backhands to earn another break in a lengthy service game and a 5-4 lead. He then comfortably closed out the set on his serve in the next game.
A huge passing-shot return gave Medvedev an early break at 1-1 in the second set as he continued to ride the momentum. With the crowd urging him on, Fucsovics found himself with two break points at 2-3 in the second set, but just missed on a forehand winner. Perhaps frustrated at being unable to capitalise on the opportunity, his game dipped slightly and Medvedev pounced. The Russian broke to love and wrapped up the match on an unforced error from Fucsovics.
Fucsovics was appearing in his second ATP Tour final. He captured his maiden ATP Tour title last year in Geneva (d. Gojowczyk).
Medvedev earns 250 ATP Ranking points and €90,390 for his efforts this week. Fucsovics picks up 150 ATP Ranking points and €48,870.