Tennis-Marseille triumph boosts self-esteem of new No.2 Medvedev


March 15 (Reuters) – Daniil Medvedev didn’t need points from Sunday’s Marseille triumph to replace Rafa Nadal as world number two, but the Russian said it was a great feeling to win a 10th ATP title as he climbed another rung on the ladder.

Medvedev’s rise in the rankings was confirmed earlier this month as Nadal has not played tournaments since the Australian Open to recover from a back injury.

With the official ranking release on Monday, Medvedev became the first player besides Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Nadal to place in the top two since Lleyton Hewitt in July 2005.

The celebrations started a day earlier for the 25-year-old when he won 6-4 6-7 (4) 6-4 over unranked French Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the event final ATP 500.

“I knew I would be No. 2 no matter what on Monday… It’s always better when you move up the ranks when you do something right,” said Medvedev.

“I know winning here didn’t give me the points to become # 2, but it’s great for my self-esteem that right before I become # 2 on Monday, I win a tournament.”

Medvedev reached the Australian Open final last month, his second Grand Slam decider after the 2019 US Open, following a 20-game winning streak at the Paris Masters, ATP Finals and the ATP Tag Team Cup which included 12 consecutive wins over the top. -10 opponents.

His run ended in a loss to world number one Djokovic in the Melbourne final, then suffered a shock defeat to Serbian Dusan Lajovic in Rotterdam.

After the blow, however, Medvedev was back on his way to victory in Marseille where he clinched his 10th Tour title – all on hard ground.

“I’m really happy with the number 10. It brings me to double digits, something I dreamed about as a kid,” Medvedev said.

“I think it’s a good number already, but I’m going to try to work more and get more … I really like playing on hard courts. I feel like this is where my game suits me the best. ” (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford) ((sudipto.ganguly@thomsonreuters.com; +91 22 6841 4383; Twitter: @Sudipto_Reuters;)) Keywords: TENNIS MEN / MEDVEDEV

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