WATCH: Daniil Medvedev finally breaks his Rome Masters duck
At his fourth attempt, Daniil Medvedev has finally registered a victory at the Foro Italico with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Emil Ruusuvuori.
Medvedev has applied himself to improve on clay with mixed results but undoubted progress.
His 77th Masters match win was the first achieved in Rome since his 2018 debut.
Medvedev skipped the tournament in 2020 and 2022 and it had been the only Masters tournament that he hadn’t earned multiple match wins at.
He was relieved to finally get a win in Rome, a venue renowned for its tricky conditions.
“It is a little bit [of a relief],” said Medvedev after his win.
“We can talk about all of the matches I lost here, they were different. The first one, I feel like I should have won, but it is [what it is]. Whenever I come to a tournament, I know that I can play well, so I’m happy to finally get the win here in Rome.”
Medvedev played something close to his regular game, driven by his baseline hitting to win a potentially difficult opening encounter against another lanky player.
He successfully deflected Ruusuvuori’s powerful groundstrokes, and Medvedev broke the Finn’s serve five times on his way to an 88-minute victory.
The third-seeded Medvedev moved to 10-0 in first-round matches for 2023 with his Tour-leading 32nd match victory of the year.
The five-time Masters 1000 winner will try to keep his momentum going against Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the third round after experiencing victory on the Rome clay for the first time in four main-draw outings.
“I want to win as many matches as possible,” said Medvedev.
“I know it can be a little bit trickier for me on clay, but honestly this year I am playing really well.
“The matches I lost, I lost against great opponents who [just] played better than me and not much [else] to say. I’m doing my absolute best and playing well. I already beat a lot of good opponents. Last week [in Madrid] Emil was one of only two players who won a set against Carlos [Alcaraz], so I’m feeling great and just looking forward to trying to play my best tennis until the end of the clay season.”
Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on home hope Lorenzo Sonego after returning to the court on Sunday to finish off Nuno Borges 6-3, 6-3 in a match interrupted by Saturday’s rain when the world number five was already well on his way to victory.
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