World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev on Thursday defeated German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the ongoing Italian Open in Rome for the first time in his career.
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Medvedev, who has described himself as a “hard court specialist”, had never won a match in Rome before this year’s tournament but has produced some of his best tennis to reach the last four at the Italian Open for the first time since Monte Carlo in 2019.
Medvedev ducked deep behind the baseline to absorb Hanfmann’s tremendous hitting in a commanding effort. After that, he won a handful of breathtaking passes. After an hour and 20 minutes, the third seed progressed well on center court and squared the ball off both wings to advance neatly. In the Italian Open semi-finals on Saturday, the 27-year-old will face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Borna Coric in search of his fifth title of the season.
“I am feeling great. I said before the tournament I was feeling really great in practice. It is always a danger to say this if you lose the first round and you think, ‘Why did I say this’. But I am proving it. I knew I had to put as many balls into the court as possible because he plays aggressively. Maybe he didn’t play his best match but that is how it works… I am happy I could neutralize his attacking style.”Medvedev said after the match.
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Medvedev was zoned from the first ball against Hanfmann in one of his best performances of the season. The third seed won 80% (16/20) of his first-serve points in the first set. He was aggressive throughout the round, hitting 14 winners to lead. Medvedev controlled the baseline exchanges with his weight and shot depth in the second set to claim his 37th win of the season. In addition, Hanfmann was also competing in the quarterfinals at the Italian Open ATP Masters 1000 for the first time. Earlier, he eliminated Top 10 stars Taylor Fritz and Andrey Rublev in the last eight.