For the world number two, Daniil Medvedev’s trip to the Balearic Islands was very much a confidence building exercise for the Russian prior to Wimbledon, where he was not favoured to do that well until now when he slipped into the final of the inaugural Mallorca Championships being played on the grass courts of the Santa Ponsa Tennis Academy.
I know that I can play good on grass, Unfortunately, we don’t have that many tournaments, only one ATP 500 and one Grand Slam. It’s going to be a special feeling [if I] win my first title on grass. Daniil Medvedev
And that confidence will have received an additional boost when ge recovered from a set down to defeat the Spanish fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6 6-3 6-2 to reach his allotted place — as the top seed — in the final.
He will be facing the big serving unseeded American Sam Querrey who in turn, ousted Adrian Mannarino of France, 6-4 6-3 to make the title round.
“I know that I can play good on grass,” Medvedev said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have that many tournaments, only one ATP 500 and one Grand Slam. It’s going to be a special feeling [if I] win my first title on grass. I still don’t have one on clay, even if I have one final. Adding these titles, especially on different surfaces, can help your confidence and it’s just a great thing for your career.”
His run to the final has been relatively comfortable except for his semi-final clash with the in-form Carreno Busta where he had to fall back on his serve to get him out of trouble firing 10 aces in the process.
“It was not an easy match and it was in very hot conditions. I think we were both struggling physically in the third set,” Medvedev explained to the ATP website.
“But I think it was a high-quality match. It was very important to start good in the sets, this is what I didn’t manage to do in the first set. I had a lot of opportunities to try to come back, but he was better.
“This is where I was better in the second and third set. It was a tight battle, and I’m really happy with the second and especially the third set.”
Medvedev raised his level in the second and third sets, where he created eight of his 11 break opportunities in the match, and made sure to start strongly in the decider by taking a 4-0 lead in the third with a double break.
In turn, he didn’t face a break point in the final two sets and sealed the victory with a second-serve ace that clocked in at 128 mph after an hour and 56 minutes.
Medvedev will face Querrey in the final after the 33-year-old struck 18 aces past Mannarino as he blasted his way into title round in 70-minutes and didn’t have to call on a tie-break to secure the win.
It will be Querrey’s 20th ATP Tour Final of which he has claimed 10 titles, his last being Los Cabos in 2017. Four of those finals were grass court events of which he has only won one.
Medvedev in contrast has 10 titles from 17 previous finals, all won on hard courts so success in Mallorca will certainly open up future possibilities for the Russian.