“You can’t win standing 10 feet behind the baseline, buddy” - Former Serena Williams coach chastises Daniil Medvedev after Halle loss

Daniil Medvedev crashes out of Halle Open
Daniil Medvedev crashes out of Halle Open

In a surprising turn of events at the 2023 Terra Wortmann Open, the top-seeded Daniil Medvedev was knocked out by eighth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut. The Spanish tennis ace effectively stopped the Russian's journey towards the last four, in a repeat clash of the previous year's quarterfinal match.

Last year, at the same stage, Medvedev had outplayed Bautista Agut in a straight-set victory. However, this year, Bautista Agut avenged his defeat by overcoming Medvedev with a score of 7-5, 7-6(3). This victory has pushed the 35-year-old Spaniard's head-to-head score against the World No. 3 to five out of seven matches.

Critiques have emerged in the wake of the Russian's unexpected loss. Former Serena Williams' coach, Rennae Stubbs, took to Twitter to voice her observations about the match. Her tweet read:

"I love when they pan to the team of the player and not the handshake! boy oh boy! also Meddy, you cant win on grass standing 10 feet behind the baseline buddy! ITS IMPOSSIBLE to win on the surface back there!"

Her criticism centered on Medvedev's tactical decision to stand far behind the baseline, a strategy that, according to Stubbs, doesn't play well on grass courts.

Indeed, during the match, Bautista Agut strategically exploited this deep positioning, capitalizing on opportunities to play drop shots and close points at the net. His superior performance during extended rallies played a significant factor in his victory. Having reached the semi-finals at Halle half a decade ago, Bautista Agut has often expressed his affinity for playing on grass.

Medvedev's exit from the tournament in Germany can be seen as a setback for his preparation for the upcoming Wimbledon tournament, where confidence will be a key factor.

Quarterfinal upset at Halle Open as top seed Daniil Medvedev crashes out

Daniil Medvedev at Terra Wortmann Open
Daniil Medvedev at Terra Wortmann Open

In a significant upset at the Halle Open 2023, Daniil Medvedev, the top seed of the tournament, was defeated in straight sets by eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut. This marks a premature exit for Medvedev from this key warm-up event preceding Wimbledon.

Medvedev was bested by Bautista Agut with a score of 7-5, 7-6 (7-3). This has further bolstered the Spaniard's career record against Medvedev, now standing at five victories to two.

Medvedev's grass-court record has been less than stellar. In fact, he has yet to make it past the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. His nonappearance at last year's tournament was due to the barring of Russian athletes in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine.

In a recent media interaction following his Round of 16 victory over Laslo Djere at the Halle Open, Medvedev acknowledged the challenges he faces on grass courts. After an arduous match against Laslo Djere, which he clinched 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, Daniil Medvedev remarked:

“Grass is so tough for me. You can actually play a perfect match and lose on two tie-breaks, so it’s a little bit strange for me.”

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Edited by Yash Singh
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