Medvedev's strong defence helps him reach semis in the Netherlands

by IANS |

'S-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands), June 11 (IANS) Daniil Medvedev moved a step closer to celebrating his impending return to World No. 1 with a trophy thanks to a gritty display against Ilya Ivashka in the quarter-finals at the Libema Open here on Friday.

The top seed was clinical in taking his chances in a tight opening set and was resilient in defence in the second to complete a 7-6(8), 6-4 victory at the ATP 250 event in 's-Hertogenbosch. Although Medvedev struggled to find his free-flowing best against the World No. 41, he displayed top-class movement to frustrate his opponent and wrap up a one-hour, 51-minute victory.

Regardless of how much further he progresses in The Netherlands, Medvedev is set to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings on Monday when ranking points from the 2021 Roland Garros drop. The 26-year-old feels the grass represents a big opportunity for him to solidify that position, according to a report on the ATP website.

The win earned Medvedev a 2-1 lead in his ATP Head2Head series with Ivashka, who is winless in his three tour-level quarterfinals in 2022.

Medvedev's semifinal opponent will be Adrian Mannarino. The Frenchman, who won the most recent edition of the ATP 250 event in The Netherlands in 2019, earlier overcame young American Brandon Nakashima, 6-7(5, 6-1, 6-4.

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Karen Khachanov 7-6(5), 6-4 while wild card entrant Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands too reached the last-four stage with a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory against Hugo Gaston of France.

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