Tennis player Daniil Medvedev made a successful start to his performance at the tournament in Dubai

Tennis player Daniil Medvedev made a successful start to his performance at the tournament in Dubai


At the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) 500 category tournament with a prize fund of $3 million that started in the UAE, last year’s champion Daniil Medvedev successfully entered the fight, winning in two sets. outplayed representing Kazakhstan Alexander Shevchenko. The world number four was preparing for his first match after reaching the final of the Australian Open under the guidance of Frenchman Gilles Simon, a former famous tennis player who recently joined the Russian team.

The Dubai tournament was the first for Daniil Medvedev after a successful, but extremely tiring performance at the Australian Open. In the four weeks since defeats from Jannik Sinner in the five-set Melbourne final, the Russian rested and trained exclusively, deciding not to defend last year’s titles in Rotterdam and Doha, as a result of which got down in the world classification from third to fourth position.

However, he still came to Dubai, where Medvedev also won last season, and with a new person on his coaching staff.

A few days ago it became known that 39-year-old Frenchman Gilles Simon, who retired at the end of 2022, was the former number six in the ATP rankings, winner of 14 single titles and two-time (2011, 2014) US Open quarterfinalist. He will help his compatriot Gilles Cervara, who recently explained to the publication L’Equipethat he continues to work with the Russian on a permanent basis, but intends to miss some tournaments for personal reasons.

Medvedev has been competing at the ATP level since 2016, and during all this time, except for Servar, no one coached him. Therefore, the news of a fundamental change in the team of the 2021 US Open champion, who has already played six finals at Grand Slam tournaments, aroused keen interest in the tennis world. In an interview with the publication Le Figaro Simon said that during the Australian Open he shared tactical considerations with Medvedev, and even contacted Cervara directly during the matches. In addition, the Russian compiled a list of 16 inconvenient opponents for Simon, and he proposed specific tactics for each of them.

From this point of view, the match against Alexander Shevchenko, who went to Medvedev in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, looked very interesting.

After all, the 23-year-old tennis player, who has been representing Kazakhstan at official competitions since the end of January, put up very stubborn resistance to the Russian former world number one in Madrid last year, losing the decisive third set with a score of 5:7. In November, in Metz, France, Shevchenko reached the final of an ATP tournament for the first time in his career, and this year in Rotterdam he defeated the seventh world racket of the Dane, Holger Rune, so for Medvedev, a meeting with such an opponent looked like a serious test of strength. As things progressed, it became clear that Shevchenko was worried about an injury to his right hand, which apparently affected the level of his play. Nevertheless, with the help of the first serve and sharp twisting blows from the baseline, he sometimes managed to put the favorite in a difficult position.

But in general, Medvedev’s class, of course, had an effect. In the first game he led 5:2, after which he allowed himself to lose his serve once, and in the second set, trailing 3:5, he took four games in a row. There were no significant changes in the Russian’s game. He showed his trademark counter-attacking tennis, taking well from the baseline, drawing his opponent into long rallies and skillfully crossing the other half of the court with spectacular forehands down the line. The result is a logical victory with a score of 6:3, 7:5, and although Medvedev does not have the easiest draw ahead, he can certainly count on the first title defense in his career.

Besides him, two other Russian players from the top twenty had a successful start in Dubai. On Monday, last year’s finalist Andrei Rublev (5th racket in the world), whose opponent was the strongest Chinese tennis player Zhang Zhizhen, advanced further, and on Tuesday, Karen Khachanov solved his problem in front of Medvedev on the center court of the Dubai Tennis Center. The newly crowned winner of the tournament in Doha in two sets dealt with 19-year-old Frenchman Luc van Asch, who is short in stature but has a very good sense of the ball.

Evgeniy Fedyakov


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