After a bizarre series of events that occurred at the Italian Open on Saturday, Sunday’s men’s singles tennis final went much more smoothly.
Daniil Medvedev took out Holger Rune in straight sets to win his first clay court title.
Medvedev’s success on the red dirt may even be surprising to himself as he has often called himself a hard court specialist.
No words! pic.twitter.com/HKH4lo503A
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) May 21, 2023
With this huge win on clay in the Masters 1000 tournament leading up to the French Open, is Medvedev now a favorite to win at Roland Garros?
He is, and here are the reasons why.
1. He Is Now No. 2 In The World
With the latest rankings released on May 22, Carlos Alacaraz is No. 1, Medvedev is No. 2, and Novak Djokovic is No. 3.
Medvedev will now be the top seed in his section of the French Open draw which is set to come out on May 25.
The top seeds get the “easier” matchups, often facing qualifiers and lower-ranked players in the early rounds.
He will also get favorable scheduling of matches in the early rounds.
With Alcaraz being the top seed in his half of the draw, that leads to one big question that could impact both Medvedev and Alcaraz, which half of the draw will Djokovic be in?
If he is in Alcaraz’s half, this further advances Medvedev’s chances because he would only need to play one of those players to win the title.
2. He Is Playing Well
A lot of the focus has been on Alcaraz and the absence of both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal through the 2023 tournaments since the Australian Open.
In the meantime, Medvedev has been playing consistently well.
He has added five ATP trophies to his mantel from Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, Miami, and now Rome.
There is a lot to be said for match fitness and momentum entering a Grand Slam.
Medvedev has both working in his favor more so than his counterparts.
Zverev & Holger Rune predicted that Daniil Medvedev would win his 1st clay court title in 2023.
Manifestation is spooky.
Also, the fact that Daniil ended up winning his 1st clay title against Holger of all people 😂
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 21, 2023
Clay was not believed to be a surface that his game would excel on.
But he has now proven that to be untrue so everyone in the men’s French Open draw had better beware of Daniil Medvedev.