Daniil Medvedev has admitted “bleeding helped” inspire him to a 14th ATP title win of his career at Los Cabos on Saturday night. The world No 1 claimed his first success of the year with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Brit Cameron Norrie but only after a cut to his hand saw momentum swing his way as the Russian found himself on the ropes.
Medvedev had seemingly sewn up the first set as he held the advantage of two set points at 5-4 up, but swiftly squandered his service game to see Norrie level the contest. The Brit then edged in front, winning the first point on his serve, before a medical-enforced time-out halted play.
Lunging for a low backhand, Medvedev scraped his hand on the hard court to draw blood. Patched up and finding himself 30-0 down, the rejuvenated 26-year-old then smashed a stunning forehand past Norrie to see the momentum swing his way. Following the time-out and the sublime winner, there was no looking back for the reigning US Open champion.
“Actually bleeding helped me I think a little bit so I could hold my nerve a little bit more,” Medvedev said. “Since then I just managed to play good, and it was enough today.”
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Having ascended to the top of the world rankings back in February, Medvedev has endured his fair share of struggles since, failing to win a tournament while finding himself banned from competing at this year’s Wimbledon. With his US Open success from 11 months ago the last time the No 1 seed tasted victory before this, he was understandably relieved to get back to winning ways.
“Coming here I had lost five finals in a row,” Medvedev said. “That’s not nice, I want to do better. You never know if it’s going to happen or not, and for sure before this final I was a little bit nervous, a little bit more than usual.
“But now I’m really happy. The good thing about tennis is that in one week you can turn around your season.”
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Back on his favoured hard court surface, Medvedev has seemingly returned to form just in time for the defence of his US Open title. The Moscow product won four matches in Los Cabos, all in straight sets, which included notable triumphs over Norrie and Miomir Kecmanovic.
Following his latest success, Medvedev appears to have re-installed himself as favourite for the US title, with Novak Djokovic likely to miss the Grand Slam due to ongoing COVID-19 vaccination controversy and Rafael Nadal still recovering from an abdominal injury. The action commences at Flushing Meadows on August 29.