Continuing his impressive grass-court form, top seed Daniil Medvedev powered past home favourite Oscar Otte to reach the Halle Open final, here on Saturday.
The World No. 1 fended off a set point when trailing 3-5 before clinching the opening set in a tie-break against World No 51 Otte. A solitary break in the second set was enough to secure a 7-6(3), 6-3 semifinal victory in the pair’s first ATP head-to-head meeting.
It is a second tour-level final for Medvedev in as many weeks on the grass after he appeared in the championship match at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch just six days ago. In Sunday’s final, Medvedev will face either fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz or wild card Nick Kyrgios as he chases the second grass-court title of his career.
Medvedev had saved all 17 break points he faced across his opening three matches in Halle this week, and he was forced into further rear-guard actions by a fast start from Otte on OWL Arena.
The World No. 1 once again found accuracy and power in his delivery to fend off two break points in the second and fourth games of the match, but his streak was finally ended after 22 consecutive break points saved when Otte’s aggressive stroke play earned a break for 5-3.
The excited home crowd sensed another upset from world No. 51 Otte, who had already beaten Top 30 players Miomir Kecmanovic, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Karen Khachanov en route to the semifinals on tournament debut in Halle.
However, the nerves began to show for the German as he served for the set. A double-fault on set point at 40/30 proved costly as Medvedev held firm to reclaim the break before completing the turnaround with five points in a row from 2/3 in the tie-break.
Taking the lead appeared to free up the Medvedev game, and the 26-year-old was dominant in the second set as he began to find a rhythm with his groundstrokes. A break in the sixth game was backed up by more relentlessly powerful serving as the World No 1 wrapped up a one-hour, 37-minute victory.
(Inputs from IANS)