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World No 205 Van Rijthoven stuns Medvedev for ‘s-Hertogenbosh title
Dutchman Tim Van Rijthoven completed a dream week at the Libema Open by taking out world No 2 Daniil Medvedev in the final.
25-year-old Dutchman Tim Van Rijthoven had never won a main draw match at the ATP level prior to this week in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Fast forward seven days and the world No 205 has three top-20 wins and a maiden ATP title to his name.
The Dutch wild card capped off a dream week on Sunday, blitzing world No 2 Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-1 to become the first home winner at the Libema Open since Sjeng Schalken in 2003.
Van Rijthoven – “I’ve watched you on TV many times”
Van Rijthoven showed class in his post match speech, taking time to show respect for Medvedev.
“I’d like to show my huge respect to Daniil. I mean, you’re a great player,” he said after the final. “I’ve watched you on TV many times. And now to play you myself. I mean, for it was already a dream to play you and to be playing this well against you was just amazing. So yeah, it was an honor for me to share the court with you.”
Medvedev, who was bidding for his 14th ATP title on Sunday, returned the favour:
“First time in an ATP tournament and straightaway you destroy the number two in the world in straight sets in the final, So I think it must be a good feeling – I don’t know how it feels so must be a good feeling,” he said. “Amazing match today, probably amazing matches before also, I mean congrats and keep it going. I Remember you from juniors, you have the talent so now you need to make more matches like this and more tournaments like this, congrats to you and your team.”
Top talent, top wins
A former No 13-ranked junior, Van Rijthoven showed his class this week with huge wins over some of the best players on tour. He took out world No 14 Taylor Fritz in the second round, before toppling tricky Frenchman Hugo Gaston to reach the semis. On Saturday he earned his first top-10 win over No 9-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the final.
The Dutchman had never faced anyone ranked higher than 48 prior to this week.
He won 13 of 21 points against Medvedev’s second serve and broke serve four times on ten opportunities. The 25-year-old dropped just nine points on serve and connected on 74 percent of his first serves over the course of the 65-minute match.
“I would like to thank my team for just staying humble the whole week just doing the normal things,” he said. “Not making this thing any bigger than it was. I’m also that kind of person, we’re just hitting a tennis ball which is not very special if you look at it from a far point of view.”