What looked like a one-sided contest proved not to be the case though the ultimate outcome of the Open 13 Provence final turned out as expected with the top seeded Danill Medvedev overcoming the double specialist Pierre-Hugues Hebert to claim the Marseille’s title.
I am really happy, I knew that I would become No. 2 no matter what on Monday… It is always better when you step up the rankings when you do something great Daniil Medvedev
The Russian beat the Frenchman 6-4 6-7(4) 6-4 to claim the 10th title of his career and ascend to the world No.2 ranking, displacing Rafa Nadal in the process.
The 25-year-old, who has yet to win a major, is certainly ready to start becoming a regular fixture at the top of the game as he is the first player outside the ‘Big Four’ of Novak Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, to climb to the No2 spot since Australia’s Leyton Hewitt in July 2005.
Medvedev, who reached the final of the Australian Open last month, produced 13 aces and saved four of five break points as he notched up another triumph in his burgeoning career.
But he didn’t have it all his own way for Herbert, with his serve and volley game honed on the doubles circuit, was able to frustrate him and prevent him from settling into a more comfortable rhythm.
“I am really happy,” Medvedev said later. “I knew that I would become No. 2 no matter what on Monday… It is always better when you step up the rankings when you do something great.
“I know that winning here didn’t give me the points to become No. 2, but it is great for the self-esteem that just before becoming No. 2 on Monday, I win a tournament.”
All 10 of his tour-level titles have been won on hard courts with the Australian and US Opens providing the best opportunities for his first major having already made the finals at both of them.
“I am really happy about the number 10. It gets me to two digits, something which I dreamt of when I was a kid,” the Moscow born Monte Carlo resident added.
“I think it is already a great number, but I am going to try to work more and get some more… I really like to play on hard courts. I feel like that is where my game suits me the best. I feel like I know the solutions I have to find during the match and that is what I did today.”