Dubai Tennis Championships: Daniil Medvedev overwhelms Andrey Rublev to win title
Russian Daniil Medvedev sweeps past compatriot Andrey Rublev in straight sets to win the Dubai Tennis Championship title.
Russian Daniil Medvedev sweeps past compatriot Andrey Rublev in straight sets to win the Dubai Tennis Championship title.
Daniil Medvedev completed an ATP Tour hat-trick Saturday when he overcame Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-2 to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The third seed, who ended Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten start to the season in the semi-finals, produced a consistent performance throughout the 68-minute clash to extend his winning streak to 14 matches. Having lifted trophies in Rotterdam and Doha in February, Medvedev is the third player to win three titles in as many weeks since 2021, joining Casper Ruud (July 2021) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (October 2022).
“It is amazing because at the start of the year, it was not perfect. In tennis when you don’t win matches you have doubts. Now it just feels better,” Medvedev said. “I was really happy with these three weeks and I am looking forward to the next ones.”
The 27-year-old’s strong hard-court form has lifted him to No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, rising above Rublev, who drops to No. 7. With his Tour-leading 19th win of the season, Medvedev improved to 5-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against the 25-year-old Rublev.
“It was very tactical [match],” Medvedev said. “I know Andrey can cause a lot of trouble to everyone on Tour. Every time we play he tries to make me suffer, I try to make him suffer. Today I managed to be on top, but the next match could be a different story.”
Top 5: Win-Loss Record 2023
Following his 18th tour-level title, Medvedev will next compete at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where he will be looking to continue his winning run. The former World No. 1 is six victories from equalling his career-best winning streak on the ATP Tour, having earned 20 consecutive victories from November 2020 to January 2021.
Medvedev entered the final having not dropped a set all week and he played with confidence against Rublev to frustrate the second seed. The 27-year-old committed just two unforced errors in the first set as he sat deep behind the baseline to soak up Rublev’s aggressive hitting.
3 in a row for @DaniilMedwed 🏆🏆🏆#ShotQuality and more #ShotQuality on display 👏
A 9.5 #ShotQuality on return occurs in less than 0.3% of matches on the @atptour #TennisInsight | @DDFTennis pic.twitter.com/2czXZlg72W
— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) March 4, 2023
After clinching the opener, Medvedev continued to find the perfect balance between defence and attack. He turned the tables in the baseline exchanges with his precise crosscourt forehand, breaking twice in the second set to seal his victory.
The 2022 champion Rublev was aiming to become the third repeat titlist at the ATP 500 event in Dubai, alongside Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Did You Know?
Medvedev has won his 18 tour-level titles in 18 different cities. He is the first man in the Open Era to accomplish the feat.
Maxime Cressy and Fabrice Martin capped their debut week as a team in style Saturday when they defeated third seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara 7-6(2), 6-4 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The American-French tandem rallied from a break down in the first set, while they hit 14 aces and saved both break points they faced to triumph after one hour and 25 minutes at the ATP 500 event.
Teaming for the first time this week, Cressy and Martin defeated Australian Open finalists Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski in the first round, before moving past Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop and Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.
The Dubai title is Cressy’s first tour-level doubles crown. The 25-year-old lifted his maiden ATP Tour singles title in Newport last year. It is Martin’s eighth tour-level trophy but first since 2021, when he triumphed with Nicolas Mahut in Antwerp.
Third seeds Glasspool and Heliovaara were aiming to capture their second title of the season as a team, having clinched the crown in Adelaide in January. The British-Finn pair did not drop a set en route to the final.
The United States Tennis Association and the US Open are “hopeful” that world number one Novak Djokovic will be allowed to enter the US this month.
After storming through the first three rounds with the loss of eight games, Alex de Minaur had to do it the hard way against Holger Rune in the Acapulco semi-finals.
In a match that started on Friday night and carried on until nearly 3 a.m., the Aussie outlasted his opponent in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC. While Rune was electric in the early stages, he struggled physically in the final set as De Minaur’s staying power pushed through the finish line after two hours and 48 minutes.
“It feels great. It feels like I deserved it,” the Aussie said after advancing to his 11th ATP Tour final, where he will face Tommy Paul. “I hung in there, I stayed tough.
“[I had to] stay with him. It’s not easy because he’s a hell of a player. He was hitting me off the court at times and not letting me really do much. But I managed to save a couple of crucial break points and keep giving myself chances… I took the one chance I [converted] and rolled with it.”
Watch the Acapulco final at 4 a.m. CET/10 p.m. ET
Rune’s big hitting dominated the opening set, though the Dane still needed to fight off four break points to consolidate an early break to move 4-1 ahead. He closed the set in style with an aggressive net approach, the power play providing a fitting end to the first set.
De Minaur began to sink his teeth into the match in set two, dragging Rune into longer rallies and winning the lion’s share of the extended exchanges. Despite plenty of break chances — six for De Minaur and four for Rune in the set — the decider was on the verge of a tie-break before the Aussie scored his first break to clinch the set, converting on his 10th break point of the match.
Rune began to struggle physically in the final set as the Acapulco humidity took its toll, and De Minaur took full advantage. While Rune fought through cramps and began hitting even bigger to shorten the points, De Minaur continued to move him around the court. A late surge from Rune was not enough to turn the tide as De Minaur progressed to his first final since he won the Atlanta title last July.
“I know I can go for a very long time so I’m happy with the work I do,” De Minaur said of his fitness level. “It just shows that I can do this for a while.”
By beating the World No. 10, De Minaur earned his third Top 10 win of the season (also def. Nadal, Rublev) and his 10th overall. He also improved to 11-7 in tour-level semi-finals by earning his first win in three ATP Head2Head matchups with Rune.
The Dane, who was seeking his fifth final since late September, can take solace in the fact that his semi-final run moved him up two places to No 8 this week in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. Guaranteed to maintain that position at week’s end, the 19-year-old will reach a new career-high on Monday in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
De Minaur is back into the Top 20 behind his final run after a rising three spots to No. 19 this week. The winner of Saturday’s final between De Minaur and Paul will enter Indian Wells as the World No. 18.
“He’s playing some great tennis. Just look at his results here,” De Minaur said of the American. “It’s going to be a great match. I’m looking forward to a battle and to just go out there and leave it all out there. There’s not much else you can do. Enjoy the moment.”
Nearly two hours after his first match point, Tommy Paul overcame longtime friend Taylor Fritz in one of the most dramatic matches of the 2023 season Friday night in Acapulco. Paul’s 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2) victory had a bit of everything, the three-hour, 25-minute odyssey setting the record for longest match in the 30-year history of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Paul said after clinching the semi-final victory on his fourth match point. “Obviously looking forward to making the body feel a little better tomorrow. The goal for this year was to get the ranking up and get more trophies. I only have one trophy on Tour between singles and doubles.
“You don’t get trophies unless your in the final, and hopefully I can play another good match tomorrow and get the winner’s trophy.”
After letting a match point slip on serve at 5-4 in the second set, missing a deep overhead off the bounce, Paul needed a comeback of his own, trailing 0-2 and 1-3 in the third. In a battle of attrition, both men saved break points in their final service games — Fritz erasing two match points at 5-6 — before Paul closed it out after taking a 5/0 lead in the final tie-break.
“You have to [dig deep]. It’s never going to be easy against Fritz, he’s unreal,” the seventh-seeded Paul added. “He doesn’t give you any points throughout the whole match, you feel like you have to work for everything.
“Obviously he got up a break in the third there and it was weird, I started feeling my body a little bit and doing some weird serves, and I don’t know if he loved it. And then I think something happened with his stomach too. I think I got a little lucky there that we were both struggling, not just me.”
Just over one month since his breakout run to the Australian Open semi-finals, Paul advanced the biggest final of his blossoming career, his first at the ATP 500 level. The 25-year-old won his lone previous title match in 2021 at the Stockholm ATP 250. He is up five spots to No. 18 this week in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings — a mark which would match his career high.
Paul, who earned his 100th tour-level win by beating Michael Mmoh in the Acapulco second round, will face fourth seed Holger Rune or eighth seed Alex de Minaur in Saturday’s final.
Third seed Fritz saw his seven-match win streak come to a close, a run that dated back to his Delray Beach title triumph. He remains at No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings after reaching the Top 5 for the first time on Monday, though Andrey Rublev could pass him by winning the Dubai final against Daniil Medvedev on Saturday.
The ATP Head2Head series between Paul and Fritz is now level at 2-2, but the pair first matched up in 2011 at the USTA Boys’ 14s National Championships, which Paul won at age 14. They also met twice in junior Grand Slam finals, with Paul winning at Roland Garros and Fritz claiming the title at the 2015 US Open.
The world’s best players will compete at the BNP Paribas Open for the 46th edition of the ATP Masters 1000 event, held in Indian Wells. Taylor Fritz will try to defend his title at the opening Masters 1000 tournament of the season against a field that includes Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and more.
Here’s what you need to know.
The 2023 BNP Paribas Open will be held from 8-19 March. The hard-court ATP Masters 1000 tournament, established in 1976, will take place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The tournament director is Tommy Haas.
The BNP Paribas Open will feature stars including Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz and Daniil Medvedev.
The BNP Paribas Open draw will be made Monday, March 6 at 3 p.m.
*Qualifying: Monday 6 March – Tuesday 7 March at 11 a.m.
*Main Draw: Wednesday 8 March – Friday 17 March at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
*Doubles Final: Saturday 18 March not before 5 p.m.
*Singles Final: Sunday 19 March not before 3 p.m.
View On Official Website
The prize money is $8,800,000 and the Total Financial Commitment for the BNP Paribas Open is $10,143,750.
Winner: $1,262,220/1000 points
Finalist: $662,360/600 points
Semi-finalist: $352,635/260 points
Quarter-finalist: $184,465/180 points
Round of 16: $96,955/90 points
Round of 32: $55,770/45 points
Second Round: $30,855/25 points
First Round: $18,660/10 points
DOUBLES (US Dollars; per team)
Winner: $436,730/1000 points
Finalist: $231,660/600 points
Semi-finalist: $123,550/360 points
Quarter-finalist: $62,630/180 points
Second Round: $33,460/90 points
First Round: $18,020/0 points
Watch Live On Tennis TV
Taylor Fritz won the 2022 BNP Paribas Open singles title with a 6-3, 7-6(5) victory against Rafael Nadal in the championship match (Read & Watch). John Isner and Jack Sock lifted the doubles trophy in Indian Wells with a 7-6(4), 6-3 triumph against Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the final (Read More).
Most Titles, Singles: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (5)
Most Titles, Doubles: Mark Knowles, Daniel Nestor (4)
Oldest Champion: Roger Federer, 35, in 2017
Youngest Champion: Boris Becker, 19, in 1987
Highest-Ranked Champion: No. 1 Jimmy Connors in 1976, Jim Courier in 1993, Pete Sampras in 1994-95, Lleyton Hewitt in 2002-03, Roger Federer in 2004-06, Rafael Nadal in 2009, Novak Djokovic in 2015-16
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 143 Larry Stefanki in 1985
Last Home Champion: Taylor Fritz in 2022
Most Match Wins: Roger Federer (66)
View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown
Argentina’s Sebastian Baez continued to make himself at home in Chile on Friday at the Movistar Chile Open, with the third seed improving to 28-3 in the nation including matches across the ATP Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and ATP qualifying.
The 22-year-old’s latest victory was a 7-6(4), 6-4 triumph against sixth seed Laslo Djere in a matchup of the only two seeds in the singles quarter-finals at the Santiago ATP 250.
“I feel so comfortable. The people, everything,” Baez said of his time in Chile. “Every match I always say the same, but it’s real.”
Baez won a tight opening set that included just a single break point, which Djere saved in the first game, but the Argentine surrendered an early break in the second. From 1-3, Baez won five of the final six games, including two love holds and a match-clinching break on his third match point after opening a 0/40 advantage.
“It was our first meeting so it was really close in both sets,” Baez said. “Maybe in the difficult moments I felt better than him, so maybe that’s the reason I took the match. I’m happy for that and to stay in the tournament.”
Two wins from his second title of the season (Cordoba), he will next meet Tomas Martin Etcheverry in an all-Argentine semi-final. Etcheverry advanced to his first ATP Tour semi-final with a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Dusan Lajovic, backing up the biggest win of his career against second seed and World No. 32 Francisco Cerundolo on Thursday.
Up eight places to No. 68 this week in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, the 23-year-old is set for a new career high on Monday.
Friday’s other two Santiago quarter-finals will see Jaume Munar take on Thiago Monteiro and Nicolas Jarry face Yannick Hanfmann.