Russian Daniil Medvedev survived cramps and tantrum, where he cracked a racquet, to clinch his first Masters 1000 title with a 7-6(3), 6-4 win over David Goffin in the final of the Cincinnati Open.
“It would not be a good feeling if I went down in three finals in a row, so it’s just a relief and I’m so happy,” he said in a courtside interview with ESPN after playing his 16th match in 20 days. “I started feeling cramps at 5-3 (in the second set). For the first time in three weeks, I started cramping, probably because of nerves. At 15-40 in the last game, I was cramping so hard. Had it become five all, I knew I would be in a bad position. I made four serves which he didn’t return. It’s just unbelievable.”
The pressure perhaps showed in the final game when Medvedev hurled his racquet to the ground after losing a point. But the temper tantrum was short-lived and he regrouped quickly to clinch his fifth title in two years. Earlier, Goffin did well to force a first set tie-break by holding serve, including winning a 29-rally point.
But the Belgian, without a trophy since 2017, lost the tie-break on a double-fault. “In the last three weeks, he played unbelievably well,” said Goffin. “He’s super solid. He doesn’t miss. It’s like playing against a wall. That’s why everybody is struggling, because he’s so consistent, now with more confidence.” Medvedev, who defeated World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, plans a short rest before the US Open, which starts in eight days.
“I need some days off,” he added. “I’ve been playing tennis for so long in a row. I just need to stay in the bed for a few days. Hopefully, I can regroup and get to the US Open fresh.”
American Madison Keys overcame a great challenge from Svetlana Kuznetsova in both sets to defeat the Russian for the Cincinnati Masters title.
The confidence-boosting 7-5, 7-6(5) victory sent Keys into the US Open as World No. 10. “If you had told me a week ago this is where I would be, I would have laughed in your face!” Keys said during the tournament trophy presentation. In both sets, the 2017 US Open finalist trailed 3-5 before rallying to win.
Keys won four consecutive games to claim the opener. She needed a tie-break to prevail in the second. The triumph was the fourth in a row for Keys over Kuznetsova on hardcourts and the success gave the 24-year-old her fifth career title. The 34-year-old Kuznetsova, twice a Grand Slam champion, served for the first set but Keys held out before winning four successive games.
In the second set, Kuznetsova broke Keys in the third game and went ahead 3-1. But Keys, down 3-5, won three games in a row to go 6-5 up. This time, Kuznetsova fought back, forcing a tie-break when the ball touched the top of the net and rolled over to the other side, creating a light moment that had Keys smiling in disbelief.
Kuznetsova reached 4-4 in the tie-break but then mishit a return. Keys then used a diagonal forehand for a double championship point, sealing the match after Kuznetsolva had closed to 6-5. Keys delivered 13 aces and 45 winners against 29 unforced errors. Kuznetsova had just two aces and 15 winners.