Italian Open: Daniil Medvedev beats Yannick Hanfmann to advance into SFs

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ROME: The World No.3 Daniil Medvedev on Thursday cruised past German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the ongoing Italian Open in Rome for the first time.

Medvedev crouched deep behind the baseline to absorb Hanfmann’s tremendous hitting in a commanding effort, landing a handful of breathtaking passing wins. After one hour and 20 minutes, the third seed advanced well on centre court and timed the ball neatly off both wings to advance.

In the semi-finals on Saturday, the 27-year-old will face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Borna Coric in his quest for his fifth title of the season.

“I said before the tournament I was feeling really great in practice. It is always a danger to say this if you lose the first round and you think, ‘Why did I say this’. But I am feeling great. The transition from Grand Stand to center court was not easy. He was struggling more than me and I am happy with the win and being in the semis,” quoted Medvedev as saying.

Medvedev was zoned in from ball one against Hanfmann in one of his best performances of the season. The third seed won 80% (16/20) of his first-serve points in the first set and was aggressive throughout, hitting 14 winners to lead. Medvedev controlled the baseline exchanges with his weight and depth of shot in the second set to claim his 37th win of the season.

Hanfmann was competing in the quarter-finals at an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time after upsetting Top 10 stars Taylor Fritz and Andrey Rublev en route to the last eight.

“I knew I had to put as many balls into the court as possible because he plays aggressively. There aren’t going to be many points where you dictate, it will be mainly him. But what you have to do is play deep and try and make him miss. Maybe he didn’t play his best match but that is how it works, you can’t play your best match every day and I am happy I could neutralise his attacking style,” Medvedev said. (ANI)

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