Both Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic have used their trip to Mallorca to great advantage with the Russian world number two comfortably settling on the grass courts of the Santa Ponsa Tennis Academy in preparation for next week’s Championships, while the five-time Wimbledon champion and world number one from Serbia, readies himself for the defence of his title, by loosening up in the doubles where he has reached the final.
I don't think we expected to reach the finals. But if we play well, we can return very well, we serve very well, and I think we have a quite solid net game. Novak Djokovic
First the bad news. Djokovic and his partner Carlos Gomez-Herrera have pulled out of the doubles title match following a foot injury to the Spaniard.
His hopes of a rare doubles title after defeating the third seeds, Oliver Marach and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi 6-3 7-6(4) to reach the final after 81-minutes, will not have dented his confidence on the eve of Wimbledon.
“Novak Djokovic and Carlos Gomez-Herrera have withdrawn from the Mallorca doubles final (foot injury, Gomez-Herrera),” the ATP statement declared.
“The winner of Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez v Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald will take the title.”
That match is still at the semi-final stage.
Djokovic had been overjoyed to reach the title round with his friend in what was their first outing as a doubles partnership.
“I don’t think we expected to reach the finals,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview prior to the withdrawal.
“But if we play well, we can return very well, we serve very well, and I think we have a quite solid net game.
“All around, everything clicked quite amazingly in the last several days for us. I’m just super thrilled to share the court with him and to reach our first final together.”
Meanwhile Daniil Medvedev is building up his confidence on grass to join the field of Wimbledon challengers attempting to dethrone Djokovic over the next fortnight.
The Russian reached the semi-finals of the inaugural Mallorca Championships by defeating Norway’s in-form Casper Ruud 7-5 6-1.
The top seed had found it difficult to switch from clay to grass when he played Halle last week, losing in the first round but in Mallorca he has found his feet.
“It was a tricky match,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “I think the court is getting a little bit tougher. There were a lot of tricky bounces, so many games felt like they were about who would get the bounce in important moments. It was kind of a funny match because it may not have been the highest level, but I’m really happy to win and be in the semis. I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.”
Commenting on his opponent’s performance, Medvedev added: “I don’t think grass is Casper’s best surface, but in the first set he was playing at top level, and I couldn’t get a break point.
“As soon as he started to serve a bit worse and make some errors, I tried to use it as fast as I could. It was important to win the first set and not go to a tiebreak. I got a boost of confidence and that was enough for the second set.”
Hoping to prevent him from winning his 10th career title is the fourth seed from Spain, Pablo Carrena Busta, who like his semi-final opponent has yet to drop a set in Mallorca, reached the last four after defeating Australia’s Jordan Thompson 6-4 6-4.
“It’s definitely not easy, but at least I don’t think he’s from Mallorca, so maybe that can help me a little bit,” Medvedev said tongue-in-cheek on learning who is opponent was.
“He’s a great player and I actually saw his matches here. He’s playing really good tennis, so it’s not going to be easy.
“The more Russian fans, the better. I heard some of the ball kids are Russian, as well, so it’s a nice atmosphere here, and having the crowd back here and some of the next tournaments we’ll play – besides the Olympics – is definitely good for tennis and we’re all happy about this.”
In the bottom half of the draw Sam Querrey of the US, blasted his way past the third seed from Spain, Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 7-6(4) and will face Adriano Mannarino of France who stopped another Spaniard, the veteran Feliciano Lopez chasing his 501st singles career win, 6-4 3-6 6-3.