Daniil Medvedev fights back in Mallorca to reach first grass-court final

The top seed Russian lost the first set, but came back impressively in the semifinals to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta.

Daniil Medvedev in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/@atptour)

Top seed Daniil Medvedev rallied from a set down to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals of the Mallorca Championships on Friday. The incredible 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory helped him reach his first tour-level grass-court final. Medvedev, the No. 2 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, has bagged all ten of his ATP Tour trophies on hard courts. He will now have a chance to add a grass court trophy to that collection as he awaits the winner between Sam Querrey and Adrian Mannarino.

Despite being the No.1 seed in the competition, the Russian had to take the long route to reach the final. It was his big serves that helped him get out of tricky situations against the in-form Carreno Busta on Friday. He delivered 10 aces and won 81 per cent (30/37) of points behind his first delivery. Earlier, the Spaniard started quickly as he saved all three break points faced in the first set and broke Medvedev early on to secure a 3-0 lead. It was enough for him to see out the set 6-3.

But the Russian was in no mood to give up that easily. He regrouped and fought back impressively in the next two sets. Medvedev started both the sets in a dominant fashion, which was reflecting on the scoreboard. He took a 3-0 lead in the second set and a 4-0 lead in the third with a double break. The Russian did not face a break point in the last two sets and won the match after an hour and 56 minutes.

Sonego enters final at Eastbourne

Third seed Lorenzo Sonego reached the final of the Viking International Eastbourne, beating Max Purcell 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. The Italian, who won the Sardegna Open in April, hit five aces against the Australian lucky loser. Sonego will be determined to continue his impressive form this year. He will be aiming to claim his second grass-court title on Saturday against Alex de Minaur. Sonego had earlier won the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya crown in 2019.

“I am really happy because this is my second final on grass and I like the conditions here because I can go to the net,” Sonego said. “I am serving well, I am more offensive, and I want to do the same tomorrow. With only three tournaments on grass, it is not easy to adapt. But my tennis is good for this surface because I serve well and if I return better, I can have a great tournament each week.”

The 26-year-old started brightly and raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set. He then quickly gained a double break in the sixth game with a forehand winner past Purcell. In no time, the Italian closed out the opener on serve. Purcell, who was contesting in his first ATP Tour semi-final on Friday, came back impressively in the second set. He lead 4-2 before levelling the match on serve to make it one set a piece.

With the match evenly poised, Sonego, No. 27 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, regained his control in the final set. In a dominant decider, he broke the Australian twice to bag the win in 98 minutes. He will face second seed De Minaur after he defeated Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 7-6 in 81 minutes.

Sportslumo Desk

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