Daniil Medvedev’s impressive form on the lawn continued on Saturday at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle, where the league-leader rode past home favorite Oscar Otte to reach his second consecutive ATP Tour final.
The world No. 1 defended a set point in the opening set before rallying to a 7-6 (3), 6-3 semifinal victory in his first ATP Head2Head encounter with World No. 51 Otte. It is a second final at tour level for Medvedev in as many weeks on the grass, after he appeared in the championship game at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch six days ago.
Last year in Halle, Medevedev fell in the first round to another German, Jan-Lennard Struff, on tournament debut. Since that defeat, the world No. 1 has been sitting 14-2 on grass, a tally that includes a title run at the 2021 Mallorca Championships.
“Last year I didn’t play well in Halle, so I’m happy to raise my level this year,” said Medvedev after his semi-final victory. “As I’ve always said, I like to play on grass, so I’m happy to show myself that I’m capable of being in the final of one of the biggest tournaments, especially on grass, and of course I’m watching looking forward to tomorrow.”
In Sunday’s final, Medvedev will face Hubert Hurkacz as fifth seed or Nick Kyrgios as he chases for the second lawn title of his career.
Medvedev had saved all 17 breakpoints he faced in his first three games in Halle this week, and he was under pressure early on after a quick start from Otte at the OWL Arena. The world No. 1 again found accuracy and strength in his delivery to fend off two breakpoints in the second and fourth games of the match, but his streak was finally ended after saving 22 consecutive breakpoints when Otte’s aggressive play earned a break for 5-3.
The excited home crowd felt another jolt of World No. 51 Otte, who had already beaten top 30 players Miomir Kecmanovic, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Karen Khachanov en route to the semi-finals at the tournament debut in Halle. However, the nerves began to manifest for the German when he served for the set. A double foul on the set point at 40/30 proved costly as Medvedev held on tight to win back the break before completing the turnaround with five points in a row from 2/3 in the tie-break.
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Taking the lead seemed to clear up Medevedev’s game and the 26-year-old was dominant in the second set as he began to find rhythm with his groundstrokes. The world No. 1 took a win of an hour and 37 minutes behind a sixth game break that was bolstered by relentlessly more powerful serve.
“I didn’t play well enough at the beginning of the game,” Medvedev said when asked how his level had improved over the course of the game. “I missed too many shots. The service wasn’t that bad actually, but I missed way too many shots.
“I managed to change it towards the end of the first set, especially in the tiebreak. Then I started missing less, playing more aggressively and getting depth on my ball. In the second set I just kept going and it was enough to break him once and take the second set.”
Although his run in Halle is coming to an end, Otte will be satisfied with his performance in his home country this week. The 28-year-old has now reached three tour-level semi-finals in 2022, and his latest run lifts him to number 37 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.