Top seed Daniil Medvedev came back from a set down against Pablo Carreno Busta to make a big breakthrough at the Mallorca Championships, winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to book a spot in his first tour-level grass-court final.
The No. 2 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings has lifted all ten of his ATP Tour trophies on hard courts. He will get the chance to add some variety to his CV as he takes on Sam Querrey in the championship match. Medvedev, who is into his 18th career final (10-7), improved to 25-7 on the season with his semi-final win.
“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.”
Medvedev had a battle on his hands against the in-form Carreno Busta on his way to his third final of 2021. The Russian, who also won in Marseille earlier in the season, relied on his big serves to bail him out of tricky situations. He fired 10 aces and won 81 per cent (30/37) of points behind his first delivery.
“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 said. “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.”
Fourth-seeded Carreno Busta had not dropped serve in the tournament across two matches and four sets leading up to the semi-final. He seemed set to continue that streak, saving all three break points faced in the first set and edging ahead with an early break to the Medvedev serve for 3-0 lead.
But Medvedev raised his level in the second and third sets, where he created eight of his 11 break opportunities in the match. He made sure to start strong, taking a 3-0 lead in the second set and 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.[WATCH LIVE 2]
Medvedev will face Querrey in the final after the 33-year-old American blasted 18 aces past Adrian Mannarino en route to a 6-4, 6-3 victory. He saved the only break point he faced and won 97 per cent (30/31) of points behind his first serve to seal the victory in an hour and 10 minutes.
With the victory, Querrey moved into his 20th ATP Tour final (10-9) and his fifth on grass courts (1-3). He is seeking his first title since 2017 Los Cabos.