Defending champion Daniil Medvedev outlasts Aslan Karatsev in Mallorca | TSWT


Daniil Medvedev improved to 8-2 on grass this TSWT season on Wednesday with a strong start to the Mallorca Championships campaign. The world number one came from a set down to defeat Aslan Karatsev 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 as he targets a third final in as many weeks on the pitch.

Mallorca’s title slate converted on the only break point in the second set for either man to advance late in the set neck and neck, then dominated the decider as Karatsev was struggling with an apparent leg problem.

“It was hard to play [in] pace,” Medvedev said of the windy conditions. “It felt like a lot of points just whoever managed to put the ball in the field was going to win the point. It wasn’t easy but I’m happy to have won because it’s the most important thing [thing].”

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After dropping serve midway through the first set on the game’s first break point, Medvedev threatened to go back instantly but couldn’t convert on four chances. Instead, his comeback bid had to wait until the second set. Karatsev kept the pressure on as he reached 30/30 or two in three straight comebacks midway through the second, but Medvedev’s solid serve kept him ahead until his crucial break in game eight.

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Medvedev completed just 48% of his first serves in the opening set but improved to 68% and 69% in the final two sets as he took control of the match.

The 26-year-old dropped just one set in his 2021 Mallorca title run and could claim his first title of the 2022 season with another successful bid.

“Last year was amazing. I played great tennis,” he said. “I hope I can do the same this year. I like it here in Mallorca, so I hope I can stay in the tournament as long as possible.”

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Medvedev will next face fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced when Nick Kyrgios pulled out with injury. Medvedev picked up his first win against the Spaniard in their fourth ATP Head2Head meeting last week in Halle.

“He’s a great player… Really hard to beat him all the time,” warned Medvedev. “[He’s a] better player and I hope we can have a good game.”

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