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Rome Masters: Medvedev reaches maiden Italian Open semi-final with win over Hanfmann

Daniil Medvedev becomes the highest remaining seed at a clay-court event for the first time in his career at the Italian Open

Internazionali BNL d'Italia •Quarter-final • completed
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Daniil Medvedev, the third seed in Rome, comfortably overcame German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-2 to move into the semi-finals of the Italian Open at the Foro Italico.

On a surface that has tormented the Russian in the past, Medvedev looked remarkably assured in an incisive victory over Hanfmann, breaking twice in both sets to secure a comfortable victory.

Medvedev will now move into his first ever semi-final in Rome, in what will be just his second ever 1000-level clay-court last four appearance. This win also marks the first time that Medvedev is the highest-ranked seed remaining in the draw at a clay tournament.

A possible meeting with long-time rival Stefanos Tsitsipas could be on the cards in the semi-final, should the Greek get past the stern challenge of Borna Coric.

Italian Open marks clay-court turning point for Medvedev

This season has marked a distinct turning point for Medvedev on the red clay of Europe. The Russian has been vocal about his struggles on the surface in the past, with his best result at Roland-Garros being a single last eight finish in 2021.

This year, however, Medvedev looks just about as formidable on the dirt as he does on hard courts, acknowledging after his win against Zapata Miralles in the third round that he feels better on clay than he ever has done in the past.

The Russian has moved impressively throughout the tournament, gaining wins against Finn Emil Ruusuvuori (6-4, 6-2), Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles (3-6, 6-1, 6-3) and German Alexander Zverev – who he also beat in Monte-Carlo – en route to his maiden last four appearance in Rome.

Hanfmann, meanwhile, leaves Rome with his head held high following a hugely impressive run to the quarter-finals. En route to the last eight, the German beat Nicolas Jarry (6-4, 6-4), Taylor Fritz (6-4, 6-1), home hope Marco Cecchinato (6-4, 4-6, 6-3) and Russian Andrey Rublev (7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3).

Hanfmann had enjoyed a superb fortnight in the Italian capital and had the potential to cause Medvedev real problems. He backed up his compatriot Struff’s run to the final of the Madrid Open a fortnight ago with an equally eye-catching sequence of wins.

For Medvedev though, all focus turns to his next match as the chance to clinch the biggest clay-court title of his career has now become a very real possibility.

Rome Masters, other quarter-final results (Foro Italico, clay, EUR 7.705.780, most recent results first):

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Borna Coric
  • Casper Ruud (4) beat Francisco Cerundolo (24): 7-6 (5), 6-4
  • Holger Rune (7) beat Novak Djokovic (1): 6-2, 4-6, 6-2

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