Third seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia will take on fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the semifinal of the Italian Open on Saturday. Those two players have enjoyed a good rivalry over the last few years, with Medvedev leading their head-to-head 7-4.
Both of them won their respective quarterfinal matches with relative ease and we can expect an absorbing clash in the semifinal.
Daniil Medvedev’s backhand vs Tsitsipas’ inside-out forehand:
Tsitsipas has one of the best forehands in the business and his inside-out forehand is going to be a key shot in the semifinal. Expect the 24-year-old Greek to push Medvedev to the latter’s backhand corner with his inside-out forehand and then rush the net to finish points with volleys.
The key for Medvedev will be to play his crosscourt backhand with a sharper angle and thereby force the Greek to play with his backhand more often. The 27-year-old Russian can also think of taking the risk of playing his down-the-line backhand for an outright winner.
Tsitsipas dragging Daniil Medvedev to the net:
Given Medvedev’s tendency to stay deep, Tsitsipas might play drop shots often to drag the Russian to the net. However, Medvedev is a fantastic mover on the court and will back himself to chase the ball down most of the times. Moreover, Tsitsipas should also be wary of Medvedev’s ability to hit accurate passing shots.
It might finally come down to who serves better on Saturday. Daniil Medvedev will hold the edge there despite the fact that his serve is less of a weapon on clay. However, Tsitsipas’ better record on the surface should give him a lot of confidence ahead of the match.
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports