Third seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia beat his compatriot Andrey Rublev 6-2 6-2 on Saturday, delivering in a near-perfect display to win his third title of the season in Dubai. With such rampant form, the 27-year-old Russian will start as the favourite in the Indian Wells Masters that gets underway in a week’s time.
In addition to that, Novak Djokovic’s likely absence should also help the Russian’s cause in the Sunshine Double. On that note, we will take a look at how the match progressed:
Daniil Medvedev once again demonstrated exceptional court coverage:
Medvedev has made a habit of covering the width of the court wonderfully well and Saturday was no exception. Both players exhibited some fierce ball-striking, as Rublev kept going around his backhand frequently to bombard his opponent with powerful inside-out and inside-in forehands.
Medvedev, however, was not one to be subdued by that and kept returning the ball with the help of his exceptional lateral movement. He also hit quite a few winners off his powerful forehand to make Rublev’s job tougher. Rublev started rushing the net frequently to apply pressure on Medvedev only with mixed results. Medvedev broke Rublev twice in the first set, as the latter could win only 27% of the points on his second serve in the first set.
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Rublev committed a lot of errors off his backhand:
It was not only Medvedev’s fabulous court coverage that led to Rublev’s undoing. The 25-year-old Russian hit a lot of his backhands into the net to gift his opponent points at regular intervals in the first set.
Rublev improved the accuracy of his shots in the second set, but Medvedev then started playing the angled shots more often to induce forced errors from his opponent. He thus broke Rublev twice more in the second set to make a strong statement.
Rublev tried to blast Medvedev off the court at times, but the latter’s defense was almost impregnable and his attack lethal. It can be safely said that no player in the world, save Djokovic and maybe Carlos Alcaraz, would fancy his chances against this version of Medvedev on a hard court.
Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports