World number one Daniil Medvedev captures his first title into the 2022 season at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel, his fourteen overall, at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel, beating defending champion Cameron Norrie in Los Cabos on Saturday night championship match.
Making his first appearance at the Mexican event, Daniil Medvedev set off his hard-court swing at the ATP 250 tournament displaying a flawless campaign.
The Moscow native outlasted Briton Cameron Norrie 7-5, 6-0 after one hour and 23 minutes to earn his maiden title at the event.
In his on-court interview, the 2022 champion said: “Every match was very good, but the final is always special. In the final, you play the best player of this week, so it’s always a high-level match, and I’m really happy that I managed to show some good level, some good shots in such an important match.”
After being away from tour-level competition for over a month, the top seed returned to action as if he had never left, with the ultimate target to defend his title at the U.S. Open later this month in New York.
Throughout his campaign at the tournament, Medvedev won four matches without dropping a set all week en route to the championship match against an in-form opponent.
The Briton, who aimed to win back-to-back titles in Los Cabos, capturing his 5th ATP career title, could not halt the 26-year-old despite fighting hard in the first set.
Norrie made things even at 5-5, but regardless, the eventual champion would hold his nerve to seal the opener 7-5.
After the match, Medvedev assessed the encounter: “First set, we broke each other two times to be at 5-all, and he actually came back from 40/15, and I didn’t play bad in that game at 5-4. So I knew I just had to stay there.”
On the opening point of the next game, he scratched his hand on the court while reaching for a shot, requiring a medical time out for treatment because of the blood.
“Actually, bleeding helped me, I think, a little bit, so I could hold my nerve a little bit more. Since then, I just managed to play well, and it was enough today,” he added.
It was an inflection point in the match, returning to play and breaking his rival right away to open a 6-5 advantage, which Norrie could not narrow.
Medvedev dictated the rhythm into the second set to round out a perfect 6-0 score.
During the trophy ceremony, the World No. 12 commented: “I fought as hard as I could, but Daniil, he was too good.”
Addressing his opponent and his team, he added: “Well done to you and your team, definitely deserved it this week.”
Overall, he won 67 percent of his first-serve points and 73 with his second, compared to the third seeds’ 41 and 53 percent, respectively.
“It was not easy. Cam is an amazing player, so it was really intense, he remarked. “When you play against Cam, you know that you have to fight for every point.”
Furthermore, he converted six of his ten break point opportunities, firing five aces.
Medvedev’s next challenge awaits him, the ATP Masters 1000 event, National Bank Open presented by Rogers, staged in Montreal, Canada, scheduled to play his first match on Wednesday.
For his part, Norrie, the ninth-seeded player at the Masters 1000, will be kicking off his campaign in Montreal on Tuesday against American Brandon Nakashima.