In his truncated grass season, Daniil Medvedev is into the Den Bosch final where he’ll meet the surprise of the week, home hero Tim Van Rijthoven.
Medvedev broke in both sets just before the breaker to dispatch Frenchman veteran Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 7-5.
“Adrian plays good and some games in this match I was like, OK, I can’t do anything,” said Medvedev. “I had to just continue playing my tennis. He was unbelievable sometimes, missing sometimes, so I just continued my game and it managed to work today.”
In the final, it will be the 205th-ranked Dutch wildcard Van Rijthoven. The 25-year-old came into the week with just one career tour win. But this week, he’s scored wins over Taylor Fritz, Hugo Gaston and today edged Felix Auger Aliassime 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(5).
“I’d like to thank all the people that came out today, the support was incredible,” said Van Rijthoven after becoming the first Dutchman to reach the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch since Raemon Sluiter in 2009. “I don’t know where to start. I got the wild card here which was already a surprise for me. I was just happy to play one or two matches at least. To be in the final is just incredible, I have no words.”
While Medvedev has ascended to higher heights, the Russian is aware of Van Rijthoven who one year his junior.
“Last time I saw him was in juniors,” said Medvedev. “Probably we saw each other last when we 18 years old and he was always playing good on grass, so I’m not surprised. It’s a surface where sometimes we have these sensations. He’s a great player so I’m ready for a big fight tomorrow.
“It would be great but it is never easy. I have to show my best tennis. Even if I lose, I have no regrets, but of course I will try my best. Every time you are in a final you want to win.”
Win or lose, Medvedev will move to No. 1 in the rankings on Monday.
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