Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev holds the trophy after winning the final against Andrey Rublev in the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on March 4, 2023. This was the second seed’s third title in three weeks. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Daniil Medvedev is playing some of his best tennis. It’s almost a throwback to 2021, when he won the US Open, denying Novak Djokovic a calendar Grand Slam. He won three ATP titles in the last three weeks — Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai.

The Russian World No. 7 said all three titles pale compared to his US Open win. “Because it’s a Grand Slam. It’s tough to pick the top three. Just because I won it today, let’s put this one in the top three. Actually, I love all of them,” Medvedev told reporters after beating defending champion Andrey Rublev in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on Saturday.

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The Dubai win is unique for the second seed since he hasn’t won three tournaments in a row. “I was in six finals in a row at one time. I won three of them, but only two in a row. [So, this is] amazing,” Medvedev added, saying that he played a near-perfect match in the final.

“I think [the final] was great. I had a lot of opportunities, [and] I managed to take them. [In the] second set, he started playing better in the beginning, so I was like, ‘Okay, just stay there and try to put pressure on him.’ I managed to break him. That’s when it got tougher for him,” the 27-year-old said, adding that he played well tactically and remained aggressive with some good passing shots. “When you beat someone like Andrey 6-2, 6-2, you need to be happy.”

He sure is pleased with the form as he heads to Indian Wells. “The way I played these three tournaments was top-level. Dubai was probably the best out of the three. I was really playing well. Beating Novak [Djokovic] and Andrey, the scoreline, the confidence: I managed to do it. Right now, I’m feeling amazing,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev stats updated
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Rublev finds plenty of positives

Despite losing the title, Rublev said he could take plenty of positives from the Dubai tournament. “After [winning a] title, I never made the final next year. It’s the first time I won a title, and at least I made the final. I think it’s a positive,” the second seed said.

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“Often what was happening is that was losing in the first rounds of the tournament if I [had] won the title the previous year. So, I think it’s a positive. Plus, I beat some players that I had never beaten before. I beat Botic [van de Zandschulp], I beat Sascha [Alexander Zverev]. I took revenge on players whom I lost last time, like Filip Krajinovic. In general, [it] was a really positive week, the 25-year-old said.

Rublev felt this performance augurs well for his matches in the near future. “I’m super motivated now for the America swing,” he said.

Rublev Stats
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