The 23-year-old claimed his first Masters 1000 title in style on Sunday–break out the champagne.
Daniil Medvedev‘s three-week journey concluded on a high note on Sunday as he defeated Belgium’s David Goffin 7-6(3) 6-4 for his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.
But the Russian had a closer call than we realized. The 23-year old told reporters on Sunday that he was beginning to cramp while serving for the title at 5-4 on Sunday, and he admitted that he was worried.
“I started cramping at 5-4 from the beginning, which I think I made ace at Love-30, so I was, like, ‘Okay I need to stay in there.’ And then I lose the point that I should have won probably, tough point, and I just get frustrated,” Medvedev said.
The Russian slammed his racquet into the court after falling behind 15-40 in the final game. The Tecnifibre stick spun wildly after it hit the court. Medvedev picked it up, inspected it, and headed to the service line–no new racquet needed. He was frustrated because Goffin had played three of his best points of the set to earn the break points, but during that walk back to the service line he made up his mind. It had to be all or nothing.
“I think it was the first racquet I throw in three weeks, because I was just getting frustrated that I can, well, basically lose the title, start cramping, and nobody knows how it goes,” Medvedev said.
What came next was most impressive. Medvedev served a 123 MPH second-serve out wide to get a free point for 30-40. Goffin was clearly not ready for it and stuck out his arm to block the ball back into the net. On the next three points Medvedev fired aces—122 out wide, 120 out wide and 125 out wide.
Three serves. Three bullseyes. How the west was won.
“So I have this second serve and I'm, like, ‘Okay. In Russia we say "who doesn't risk, doesn't drink Champagne,"’Medvedev said after the final, recalling his mindset of the moment. “So I'm drinking Champagne tonight.”