Daniil Medvedev: Profiling the newest Masters 1000 winner
The Cincinnati triumph made the Russian the sixth different winner of a Masters title after seven tournaments this season. Following Dominic Thiem (Indian Wells) and Fabio Fognini (Miami), Medvedev is the third new debut 1000 winner this season.
In the process, the Russian has become the 69th player to join the group of 'Masters 1000 winner' since the series was conceptualized in 1990, and the 18th active player to do so.
Medvedev won his first Masters 1000 title in his 20th appearance at a Masters tournament. Only six active players - Karen Khachanov, Alexander Zverev, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, and Rafael Nadal made a quicker Masters breakthrough than the Russian; with Tsonga the quickest to a Masters title in his 8th Masters appearance at 2008 Paris-Bercy.
After 22-year-old Karen Khachanov triumphed at the 2018 Paris Masters and 20-year-old Alexander Zverev made his maiden Masters breakthrough in 2017 in Rome, 23-year-old Medvedev is the youngest Masters winner in eleven years.
Let us have a preview of the newest Masters winner on the tour
Medvedev made his Masters 1000 debut in 2017 at Indian Wells, where he lost in straight sets against countryman Mikhail Youzhny in the first round.
The Russian went winless in four more Masters 1000 tournaments in the season before beating Steve Johnson and Matteo Berrettini at 2018 Indian Wells for his first two Masters 1000 match wins.
Playing at all nine Masters 1000 tournaments for the first time in his young career, Medvedev notched up six more Masters match wins to close his 2018 season.
At 2019 Monte Carlo, the Russian advanced to his first Masters semifinal where he went down to eventual finalist Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.
At the next two Masters 1000 stops of Madrid and Rome, Medvedev endured his ninth and tenth first-round Masters exits respectively.
After making his top ten debut in the week following Wimbledon, four consecutive straight-set wins carried the Russian to his first Masters final at 2019 in Montreal, where Medvedev managed only three games against Nadal in a lopsided title match.
But far from being deflated and disheartened, Medvedev entered a second hardcourt Masters tournament in as many weeks at Cincinnati, where he recovered from a set deficit to oust defending champion and top seed Djokovic in the semis before beating Goffin in the final to make his maiden Masters breakthrough.
The Cincinnati triumph helps Medvedev rise to a new career-high of world no. 5, and the highest-ranked Russian player in the ATP rankings would now look to continue his fine hardcourt form (14 wins in 16 matches; tour leading 31 hardcourt wins in the season) by making a big run at the last Grand Slam of the year in New York next week.Published 19 Aug 2019, 11:25 IST