Herbert to provide Medvedev with his final Marseille challenge

The top-seeded Daniil Medvedev has made the Marseille final as expected but will be facing a player best known for his doubles ability, the unseeded Pierre -Hughes Herbert in what seems a one-sided final of the Open 13 Provence tournament.

He’s a tough opponent to play; he does serve and volley; he plays (with) no rhythm, so that’s why it’s tough to say if I played well or not Daniil Medvedev

With Medvedev, who is expected to rise to second in the world rankings on Monday, facing the world No.93, that would seem to be the case but then Herbert has beaten the likes of Kei Nishikori and the second seed Nicolas Tsitsipas during his run through.

In his semi-final Medvedev was leading 6-4 3-0 against the qualifier Matthew Ebden when the Australian retired injured.

“Really unfortunate to end the match like this. I knew that even with an injury I had to just continue playing, trying to win,” the Russian said. “You cannot give easy points just because he’s injured. So I (am) really sorry for him, hopefully he can recover fast and it’s nothing serious.”

Boosted by his quarter-final win over second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, Herbert swept past fourth-seeded compatriot Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-2 hitting nine aces without facing a break point.

Medvedev has now won 22 of 24 matches and is clearly a heavy favourite to add the Marseille title to the nine he already holds though Herbert’s serve and volley game might cause his some problems,

Like Ebden, for instance, did despite his 287 ranking making him the lowest ranked semi-finalist in the 28-year history of the event, with his traditional Australian style of play, breaking up the Russian’s rhythm and forcing him to save three break points in the opening set.

“He’s a tough opponent to play; he does serve and volley; he plays (with) no rhythm, so that’s why it’s tough to say if I played well or not,” Medvedev said of his victory over Ebden.

He concluded: “But looking forward for tomorrow. Luckily this time no crowd, because a final against a French guy in Marseille with a crowd would be not an easy challenge.”

Herbert, who recently became a father, is looking forward to the final and testing himself against the Russian.

“I’m really happy about my match [against Humbert] and how I managed to come back on court after my win yesterday against Tsitsipas and still play a good match,” Herbert said.

“I’m really proud of that and about the final, I play Daniil, third in the world, a player I’ve played already and a big champion. For sure it’s going to be an interesting final. I’m so happy to be in it and to be able to play such a final”.


Pierre-Hugues Herbert is looking forward to facing Daniil Medvedev

Henk Seppen/BSR Agency/Getty Images




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