Twenty-six-year-old Daniil Medvedev of Russia moved into his maiden tour-level final since the Australian Open in January, with the world No. 2 ending Frenchman Adrian Mannarino's eight-match winning streak at the ATP 250 Libema Open.
Medvedev won 7-5, 7-5 on Saturday night to book a final appointment with Dutch wildcard Tim Van Rijthoven.The win over Mannarino was more solid than spectacular, but Medvedev will be delighted with the way he handled a strong grass-court, flat-hitting player.
"Adrian plays good and some games in this match I was like, OK, I can't do anything," Medvedev was quoted as saying by atptour.com. "I had to just continue playing my tennis. He was unbelievable sometimes, missing sometimes, so I just continued my game and it managed to work today."
Should Medvedev defeat No. 205-ranked Van Rijthoven in the final, it will give the Russian a double cause for celebration. Regardless of the result, he will reclaim the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings on Monday when rankings points from 2021 Roland Garros drop.
"Last time I saw him (Frenchman) was in juniors," said Medvedev of his opponent in the championship match. "Probably we saw each other last when we 18 years old and he was always playing good on grass, so I'm not surprised. It's a surface where sometimes we have these sensations. He's a great player so I'm ready for a big fight tomorrow.
"It would be great (to win) but it is never easy. I have to show my best tennis. Even if I lose, I have no regrets, but of course I will try my best. Every time you are in a final you want to win."
The win avenged Medvedev's second-round loss to Mannarino in 's-Hertogenbosch in 2016 and reduced his deficit in the pair's ATP head-to-head to 2-3. Medvedev is hunting the second grass-court title of his career this week, having lifted the trophy at the Mallorca Championships in 2021.