Tennis News

From around the world

Daniil The Dismantler: How Medvedev Magic Shut Down Rune's A-Game

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

Daniil The Dismantler: How Medvedev Magic Shut Down Rune’s A-Game

Brain Game analysis breaks down the Rome final

Daniil Medvedev dismantles your game.

Playing your “A-Game” is next to impossible against Medvedev, who willingly absorbs your best punches and silently disrupts your winning patterns. Medvedev defeated Holger Rune 7-5, 7-5 in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final on Sunday by dismantling Rune’s strengths and finding another level at the end of both sets to secure victory. There were seven specific battles in which Medvedev managed to craft an advantage over Rune to capture his first clay-court title.

You May Also Like:

Medvedev Clinches First Clay-Court Crown, Triumphs In Rome

1) Medvedev Owned Ad-Court Rallies
Medvedev’s primary baseline tactic was to make the match a backhand-to-backhand war of attrition through the Ad court. Medvedev’s ultra-flat, uber-consistent backhand is almost impossible to do anything with.

Medvedev Backhand Placement

  • 67% cross court
  • 15% middle
  • 18% down the line

Rune Backhand Placement

  • 46% cross court
  • 25% middle
  • 29% down the line

Medvedev shoveled two out of every three backhands crosscourt, handcuffing Rune in baseline exchanges. Overall, Rune hit 108 backhand groundstrokes, which included 14 errors and three winners. Rune also hit 54 run-around forehands in the Ad court for six winners and six errors. The Ad court belonged to Medvedev.

2) Rune’s Underperforming First Serve

Rune made a lowly 49 per cent of his first serves (33/68) for the match, only winning 52 per cent (17/33) of those points. Rune was broken four times, specifically due to these underperforming first-serve stats, but won a competitive 63 per cent (22/35) of his second-serve points. A key factor of Rune’s low numbers behind his first serve was Medvedev’s deep return position, where he regularly made contact six metres behind the baseline. Rune could not go through him, or around him.

Medvedev Return Hit Points vs. Rune

Rome Final Medvedev Return Position
Hawkeye graphic courtesy of ATP Media
Medvedev consistently put Rune on the back foot at the baseline after a first serve, or landed it at his shoelaces as he attempted to serve and volley. Medvedev directed 81 per cent of his first-and-second-serve returns to the middle and backhand thirds of the court, trying to immediately enter into an oxygen-depraving backhand-to-backhand rally against Rune.

3) Rune Serve & Volley
Serve and volley is a natural counter-attack against a deep returner, but with Rune landing less than half his first serves, the tactic always felt dangerous in this match. Overall, Rune won seven of twelve serve-and-volley points, but was even in the second set with three won and three lost. Medvedev did a masterful job of mitigating this potentially damaging tactic.

4) Rune Drop Shots
Drop shots are a classic secondary tactic on clay that compliment a strong primary pattern of play, such as initially pushing your opponent deep behind the baseline before yanking them forward. Rune hit 10 drop shots in the match, with eight coming from his backhand wing. He only won four of ten, and they failed to disrupt Medvedev’s baseline patterns.

5) Net Points Won
Rune came to the net a healthy 26 times in the match but only managed to win 50 per cent (13) of those points. Medvedev countered by winning 13 of 20 (65 per cent) at net, providing another strategic victory.

6) Baseline Points Won
The primary pattern of play of blasting groundstrokes back and forth over the Roman red dirt was easily won by Medvedev.

  • Medvedev=53% (39/74)
  • Rune=43% (29/68)

Rune hit 131 forehand groundstrokes for the match, but Medvedev absorbed the punches like a true clay-court heavyweight. Rune struck nine winners with his forehand but contributed 17 errors as Medvedev consistently absorbed and repelled Rune’s forehands.

7) Court Position

Medvedev Court Position

  • Inside Baseline=23%
  • Within 2 Metres Of The Baseline=44%
  • Past 2 Metres=33%

Rune Court Position

  • Inside Baseline=21%
  • Within 2 Metres Of The Baseline=45%
  • Past 2 Metres=34%

Surprisingly, Medvedev played slightly more inside the baseline than Rune while at the same time not standing in the ultra-deep baseline location quite as much.

Medvedev’s first clay-court title came from playing solid tennis on his side of the net and forcing Rune to play his “B-Game”. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Source link

Murray Withdraws From Roland Garros

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

Murray Withdraws From Roland Garros

Former World No. 1 has not competed at clay-court major since 2020

Andy Murray has withdrawn from Roland Garros.

The former World No. 1 competed on clay this season, but will not play in the clay-court major. He has taken part in the tournament once since 2017 (in 2020).

Murray owns an 8-8 tour-level record in 2023. He won his first title of any kind since 2019 earlier this month at the Aix-en-Provence ATP Challenger Tour 175 event, where he defeated then-World No. 17 Tommy Paul in the final.

The Scot lost in the first round in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome. He also fell to former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka at an ATP Challenger Tour 175 event this week in Bordeaux.

Murray has tallied a 39-11 record at Roland Garros, where he reached the final in 2016 and the semi-finals in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

The draw for the tournament will be made on Thursday at 2 p.m. local time.

Source link

‘I Don’t Believe It’: Medvedev Thrilled With Clay-Court Rise

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

‘I Don’t Believe It’: Medvedev Thrilled With Clay-Court Rise

27-year-old won maiden tour-level title on clay in Rome

Daniil Medvedev has always been open about his testy relationship with clay. So how did he rise to become an ATP Masters 1000 champion on the surface?

The 27-year-old had not won a match in three previous appearances at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but he capped a dream run Sunday by defeating Holger Rune to triumph in Rome.

It was Medvedev’s first ATP Tour title on clay at any level, let alone at a Masters 1000. Even given his solid form on European clay courts prior to Rome, the former World No. 1 expressed some disbelief at his title run in Italy and admitted the unexpected nature of his triumph made it one of his best yet.

“In a way [this is my] number one [success], just because it’s the first one on clay and it’s unbelievable,” said Medvedev in his post-match press conference. “I would never have thought I would be able to make this. Then [I] have to be honest, a Grand Slam is always bigger. [The 2021] US Open is always number one there.

“This one is special because I didn’t think it was going to be able to happen, [that I was] going to be able to make it. I still kind of don’t believe… Not that I won it, but I played so well this week. I don’t believe it.

“The way I played, I’m really happy. Happy to have this trophy back home in some time.”

You May Also Like:

Medvedev Clinches First Clay-Court Crown, Triumphs In Rome

Medvedev’s deep groundstrokes have been a key feature of his clay-court development. His baseline retrieving has been the basis for his hard-court success (18 of his 20 tour-level titles have come on the surface), and he cited a change of strings at the start of the 2023 season as a reason why he has been able to replicate his form on the clay this year.

“Straightaway in Australia [with the new strings] actually, where I lost, with my coach we were like, ‘Wow, I have the easy depth on the ball, which is amazing,” said Medvedev.

“In Australia, [it] didn’t work. I was 100 per cent doubting myself. Should I go back to the old ones, I was playing good with them? I said no, let’s try more. Now it’s unbelievable.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Medvedev’s title run was his fifth of a standout 2023 season, including Masters 1000 crowns in Miami and Rome. The 20-time tour-level titlist believes his experience playing under championship-match pressure at Masters 1000 events helped him keep his cool at tough moments against Rune.

“For sure every time you play a big final, it’s an experience,” said Medvedev. “It’s an experience for the next one. For example, both Miami and here, I felt like the start was so-so, then I managed to get into the match more and more and play better and better.

“When I played my first [ATP Masters 1000 final, in Montreal in 2019], it was against Rafa [Nadal]. I got destroyed. I started bad, as I kind of started these matches, then I was only playing worse and worse. The next one I managed to win against Goffin [in Cincinnati in 2019]. It was a tight match from both of us. We knew it’s going to be first one for us.

“With experience, I managed to do better in this moment, so maybe that helped. But then in general terms, after Miami, I was feeling confident, good.”

Source link

How Medvedev's Return To World No. 2 Can Shake Up Roland Garros Draw

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

How Medvedev’s Return To World No. 2 Can Shake Up Roland Garros Draw

Medvedev climbs after triumphing in Rome for first clay-court title

Daniil Medvedev will return to No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday after defeating Holger Rune at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for his first clay-court title.

If Medvedev did not lift the trophy, Novak Djokovic would have entered Roland Garros as World No. 2. But now Medvedev is slated to be the second seed at the clay-court major. World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will be the first seed and Djokovic the third seed, so they could land in the same half of the draw in Paris.

“If I would be No. 3, I would definitely play one of Alcaraz or Novak if I am in the semi-finals. You definitely have one of them in your draw,” Medvedev said. “I guess it’s better to be No. 2 and get the chance.  Carlos and I [will not] play for sure before the final, and Novak maybe 50 per cent chance he’s not in your draw.  At the same time I haven’t been further than quarters in Roland Garros.”

Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings (after Rome Final)

 Player  Points
 1) Carlos Alcaraz  6,815
 2) Daniil Medvedev  6,330
 3) Novak Djokovic  5,955
 4) Casper Ruud  4,915
 5) Stefanos Tsitsipas  4,775

Medvedev fell out of the Top 10 in January and was as low as World No. 12 in February. But the 27-year-old has surged since, winning titles in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, Miami and now Rome. The 20-time tour-level titlist will now set his sights on a return to World No. 1, a position he first reached last year and held for 16 weeks. 

Medvedev will enter Roland Garros 485 points behind Alcaraz. Since Alcaraz reached the quarter-finals last year and Medvedev advanced to the fourth round, Medvedev will gain another 180 points on the Spaniard in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings when the tournament begins.

You May Also Like:

Medvedev Clinches First Clay-Court Crown, Triumphs In Rome

Medvedev is also in good position in the battle for year-end ATP No. 1 presented by Pepperstone. The 27-year-old leads the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin — a good indicator for that battle — by 845 points over second-placed Alcaraz and 1,555 points over third-placed Djokovic.

Rune also will make a move in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday when he climbs to a career-high World No. 6. One year ago, the Dane lost in the first round of qualifying in Rome. Now he is just 400 points from cracking the world’s Top 5 for the first time.

Source link

Rune: 'I Am Very Eager To Win Titles'

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

Rune: ‘I Am Very Eager To Win Titles’

Dane reached final on debut in Rome

Another ATP Masters 1000 event, another deep run for Holger Rune.

The Dane defeated Top 5 stars Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, before Daniil Medvedev stopped him in the title match. Despite disappointment in Sunday’s final, the 20-year-old leaves Rome holding a 13-3 record on clay this season, with plenty of positives heading into Roland Garros.

“My feeling right now is obviously not the best. But also I have to look at [what] has been a good clay season so far for me,” Rune said. “I made three finals out of four tournaments. In that way I can’t complain. As many of you guys know me now, I’m a very eager person to win titles. I’ve been close. Hopefully I will learn from it.”

Rune, who reached the final at the clay-court Masters 1000 event in Monte-Carlo last month, has climbed one spot to No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his run in Rome.

You May Also Like:

Medvedev Clinches First Clay-Court Crown, Triumphs In Rome

In a tight final, the seventh seed twice squandered a break advantage in the second set against Medvedev, who lifted his first clay-court tour-level trophy and sixth ATP Masters 1000 trophy. Rune was frustrated that he was unable to find his best level at all times against the 27-year-old.

“I think I was very nervous stepping into the match. Obviously came through from a great match yesterday [against Ruud]. Maybe I put too many expectations on myself, even though I told myself not to,” Rune said. “He played great. He played really solid from the back of the court… I’m happy for him. It’s his first title on clay. I think he has a good future also in clay. He’s a great player on all courts.”

Rune won only 52 per cent (17/32) of his first-serve points against Medvedev, losing serve four times.

“I served probably worse today than I did the recent matches,” Rune said. “That’s also a big factor because Medvedev, he likes to grind. If he gets a chance to grind, it’s going to be long rallies, as you saw some of the points were. Obviously a good serve is helping a lot against him. I couldn’t find it today.”

Rune will next head to Roland Garros, where he reached the quarter-finals last year. He shared his thoughts on who he thinks will be the main challengers for the title when asked by a journalist in Sunday’s press conference.

“I still think Novak [Djokovic] is the main favourite for the event,” Rune said. “He’s the one with the most Slams of who’s playing, the most experienced. Then we have [Carlos] Alcaraz. We have Medvedev. We have a lot of guys. I think if I have to pick one favourite, I’ll probably pick Novak.”

Source link

Roland Garros Qualifying Draw Released

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

Roland Garros Qualifying Draw Released

Play begins Monday in Paris

The Roland Garros qualifying draw was released on Sunday. Qualifying action will begin in Paris on Monday with main draw play to start next Sunday.

The qualifying field includes Fabian Marozsan, who stunned Carlos Alcaraz at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The Hungarian is competing in Grand Slam qualifying for just the second time after losing in the first round at the Australian Open.

The top seed is Aslan Karatsev. The former World No. 14 has shown good form on clay this season, reaching the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open as a qualifier. Karatsev will play Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round.

Rome quarter-finalist Yannick Hanfmann is the second seed. The German upset ninth seed Taylor Fritz and sixth seed Andrey Rublev at the Foro Italico.

Other players to watch in qualifying include 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals competitors Dominic Stricker, Francesco Passaro and Chun-Hsin Tseng.

Source link

Draper, Barrere Make Fast Starts In Lyon

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

Draper, Barrere Make Fast Starts In Lyon

Briton Draper notches straight-sets win in first match since Monte-Carlo

After nearly six weeks away, Jack Draper returned to ATP Tour action in style on Sunday at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon.

The Briton charged past home favourite Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-3 on debut at the clay-court ATP 250 in France. Draper did not face a break point and converted three from six of his own to seal a 75-minute triumph.

“I thought I played good today,” said Draper. “Alex played some amazing tennis. Obviously he had [the crowd] behind him and it was a good level match. So I’m happy with the way I played today.”

Draper’s 2023 season has so far included a semi-final run in Adelaide and a fourth-round run in Indian Wells, but he did not compete in Madrid or Rome due to an abdominal injury. Now fit again to compete and having posted an impressive opening win in Lyon, the 21-year-old will take on fifth seed Miomir Kecmanovic or Oriol Roca Batalla in the second round.

You May Also Like:

Scouting Report: Ruud, Fritz In Geneva, Norrie, Felix Headline Lyon

Gregoire Barrere showed no sign of nerves on home soil Sunday at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon, where he took down countryman Corentin Moutet 6-4-6-2 to reach the second round at the ATP 250.

“I’m really happy to be in the second round here,” said Barrere after his 90-nminute triumph. “I always like to play in France, I play every tournament in France. For me it was a good first round, I played really good. I stayed focused during the whole match, so it was a good match for me.”

Barrere arrived in France fresh from a third-round run in Rome, where he notched one of the biggest wins of his career against World No. 11 Karen Khachanov. The 29-year-old, currently No. 55 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, has another opportunity to claim a Top 20 scalp in the second round in Lyon when he takes on Tommy Paul.

“He’s a really good player. He made the semis in the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, so he’s improving a lot,” said Barrere of the American World No. 17. “It will be a fun match for me, a very interesting match, and I hope to be ready and to play well and to beat him.”

In the other first-round match on Sunday’s schedule in Lyon, Juan Pablo Varillas prevailed 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 in a three-hour, 11-minute marathon against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Varillas, who reached his maiden ATP Tour semi-final on clay in February in Buenos Aires, will take on fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo next.

Source link

Fun & Foundational, Bryan Brothers Reflect On College Pathway To Pros

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

Fun & Foundational, Bryan Brothers Reflect On College Pathway To Pros

Bob and Mike on hand for NCAA Championships in Lake Nona, Florida

Twenty-five years on from claiming the coveted college ‘triple crown’, U.S. Davis Cup captain Bob Bryan remembers his three years playing college ball with twin brother Mike Bryan at Stanford as “literally the most fun we’ve ever had in tennis”.

The greatest doubles team in tennis history is on hand at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida this week for the NCAA Championships, where they will be inducted into the ITA Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall Of Fame.

“Playing for the pride of the programme and playing for our brothers, there was nothing like it,” said Bob, who won the NCAA Singles and Doubles (w/Mike) titles in 1998, and helped Stanford to the teams trophy, a feat that has been matched just once since (Matias Boeker, University of Georgia, 2001). “Just the passion and enthusiasm we felt every time we stepped on the court was on another level.”

In Stanford’s astonishing 1998 season, the team lost a combined three individual points. “I challenge any other team to pull that off,” Bob said. “By the stats our ’98 Stanford team is the greatest in history.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Bob said that three years with the Cardinal under the guidance of Dick Gould was the foundation that he and Mike needed to embark on their historic ATP Tour career, which netted a jaw-dropping 119 titles together, including 16 majors. Mike agrees.

“Our time at Stanford remains among our greatest years in the sport,” Mike said. “It was so much fun being on a team. And we needed college tennis because we came out of high school pretty undercooked emotionally, socially, and we were small, so we needed to grow. And learning under Dick Gould, who was like a great army General, was key. He helped us grow as people as well as tennis players.

“It was a great springboard for the tour. If we would have turned pro too early, I think we would have been chewed up and spit out.”

Mike fondly recalls when Stanford denied the University of Georgia – and their intense fans – on its home soil in Athens in the NCAA final in 1998.

“It made all the other Davis Cup ties we played in the future a piece of cake because the Barking Bulldogs were nasty,” Mike recalled. “They’re loud. They yelled obscenities… that was kind of the most scared we’ve ever been walking out onto a tennis court.

“I remember one of our guys said “Don’t do the chest bump. Don’t even try it man. They’re gonna eat you alive.’ But we got through it and we had that stellar team that was undefeated. We then put on another run after that by winning the doubles and Bob took the triple crown, which was cool and we got the wild card into the US Open. Dick Gould actually pulled us into his office. He said: ‘You guys are ready, it’s time to turn pro.’”

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

Looking ahead to Sunday’s induction into the ITA Hall of Fame, Bob said: “It means a lot and it’s given us a great opportunity to come to Orlando and see a lot of the coaches that we faced and former players that we played against and just reminisce on all the just the beautiful memories that we made in college.

“It’s a great community of players and we’re super stoked to be here and receiving that honour.”

Mike also lent his support to the new college accelerator programme, an initiative between the ATP and ITA, which will award wild cards into ATP Challenger Tour events to the Top-20 ranked ITA college players.

“It’s great because the level in college tennis is amazing. And it just gives guys a better opportunity once they leave college to jump into the tour because it’s a long road sometimes if you start from scratch,” Mike said.

Source link

Medvedev Leads Rune In Rome Final

  • Posted: May 21, 2023

Medvedev Leads Rune In Rome Final

Third seed chasing sixth Masters 1000 title

Daniil Medvedev is one set away from capturing first clay-court trophy and sixth ATP Masters 1000 crown after he won the opening set against Holger Rune 7-5 on Sunday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

After the start of the final was delayed by one hour and 40 minutes due to rain, the 27-year-old came out and produced a clean-hitting, consistent display in the first set. He sat deep behind the baseline and absorbed pressure on the red clay in Rome against the seventh seed Rune, who is aiming to win his second Masters 1000 title and first on clay.

Medvedev had never won a match in three previous appearances in Rome before this season. He has produced some of his best clay-court tennis in the Italian capital this fortnight, though, defeating 2017 champion Alexander Zverev and 2022 finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Medvedev has won four tour-level titles this season, including his fifth Masters 1000 trophy in Miami last month. He is first in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and will move to No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings if he can earn a Tour-leading 39th win of the season against Rune.

Rune is trying to become the youngest player to win the title in Rome since then-19-year-old Rafael Nadal lifted the trophy in 2006. The Dane defeated Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud en route to the final, and is chasing his eighth consecutive win against a Top 5 opponent in the title match against World No. 3 Medvedev.

Rune triumphed at the Rolex Paris Masters last year and is up one spot to No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his run to the final on debut in Rome. Earlier this season, the Dane defeated Medvedev en route to the title match in Monte-Carlo, before he captured his fourth tour-level crown in Munich.

Source link