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Holger Rune vs Daniil Medvedev Rome 2023 Final Preview and Prediction

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A dramatic and rain-hit Rome tournament comes to an end on Sunday afternoon with Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev competing for the title in their second career meeting. A repeat of Rune’s easy 6-3 6-4 win last month would secure the first clay Masters 1000 title for the Norwegian while the same applies to Medvedev, who can make it five overall at this level. A win for Medvedev would put him back at the No.2 spot while Rune winning would see him equal No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas’ ranking points.

Medvedev making it this far in the tournament has definitely come as a surprise although he has shown improvements on the clay this season. He had failed to make it past the second round in his three previous outings and only Monte Carlo as a clay masters has given him any productive results at this level. The rain meant it was five hours between start and finish of his 7-5 7-5 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, extending his head-to-head to 8-4. He secured decisive breaks in the eleventh game of each set, remaining solid enough in the conditions to grind the win out. “I enjoyed playing today,” said Medvedev. “It was very tough with the rain delay, I warmed up like six or seven times, but actually sometimes it can throw you off, you can be a little bit angry [about] the situation. Today, I don’t know why, I was just kind of laughing.

Should Rune win this title, it will be well deserved given he will have knocked off three of the top four seeds in doing so. He did have to come from a set and break down but showed there was still plenty in the tank after his big win over Djokovic, grinding out a 6-7 6-4 6-2 win over Casper Ruud. A cautious Ruud was punished and once Rune took the second set, there was only going to be one winner. “I had nothing to lose in the second [set], so I just told myself to play freely and enjoy it as I thought it would be my last set here,” Rune said. “I told myself to play aggressively and enjoy it and I did it and that was the key to comeback.”

While Medvedev finally seems to have got to grips with clay and adapting his game to the surface, Rune still has to be considered the favourite for this one. The Norwegian has begun his career with a superb record against the Top 10 and doesn’t look to shy away in the big moments or against big players. This is going to be another baseline battle with the man who can pick their spots to attack better likely picking up the win. The ease with which Rune handled the Russian in Monte Carlo is bound to give him lots of confidence even if Medvedev does look to have added a level of controlled aggression to his play. Both men will also want to make a statement ahead of the French Open with Nadal out, Djokovic below his usual level and Alcaraz perhaps not 100% invincible this early in his career.

Prediction – Holger Rune in three sets

Aaron Higgs
Aaron Higgs
Experienced tennis writer with a focus on event previews and results.

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