Medvedev had never won in Rome before this week but sealed his place in the semi-finals with an impressive, controlled performance against Yannick Hanfmann. The world No.3 showed growing confidence on clay as he moved around the court with ease to dominate his opponent, whose excellent run, having qualified for a Tour-leading sixth tournament this season, came to an end.
Daniil Medvedev is through to the semi-finals of the Italian Open after a straight sets victory over Yannick Hanfmann.
The Russian progressed 6-2 6-2 on Stadio Centrale.
Having never won a match in Rome before this week, Medvedev will play either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Borna Coric in the last four.
Speaking after his victory, Medvedev beamed: “I said before the tournament that I was feeling really great on practice. I’m proving it. I feel great.”
Hanfmann has played a considerable amount of tennis already this year having qualified for a Tour-leading six tournaments and Medvedev arrived knowing he needed a tactical performance.
“I knew I had to put as many balls in the court as possible because he plays aggressive so there are not many points where you’re going to be leading the point, it’s going to be mainly him”, he said.
“What you have to do, play deep and try to make him miss. I managed to do it. Maybe he didn’t play the best match but that’s how it works. You cannot play your best match every day.”
Hanfmann’s clash with Medvedev was his seventh match in 1- days in Rome and arrived at his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final on the back of the biggest win of his career after beating world No.6 Andrey Rublev in the previous round.
If he thought he was travelling on cloud nine, Hanfmann was abruptly brought down to earth with Medvedev breaking to love in the opening game.
However, the German responded immediately and showed why he is enjoying the richest vein of form by fearlessly breaking back.
Hanfmann toyed with Medvedev, attempting to have his opponent sprinting from the base line at every opportunity to chase drop shots but the world No.3 soon marked his card with two further breaks.
Medvedev saved two break points before serving out the first set.
Despite the warnings he had already been fired, Hanfmann continued to play expressively. This was largely seized upon by Medvedev, who hit some big winners from seemingly impossible angles to continue asserting his authority.
As the second set rolled on and Medvedev broke the Hanfmann serve twice to take a 4-1 lead, the German’s back-hand errors were becoming more regular and a poor return on first serve points seemed to be bringing his Italian adventure to an end.
Although tiredness was taking its toll on Hanfmann, his resilience was admirable and he took advantage of some sloppy play from Medvedev to gain a break back.
However, the Russian responded by breaking back before serving out the match to progress and end Hanfmann’s excellent run in the competition.
With Rafa Nadal withdrawing from the French Open, Medvedev is finding form at the right time on clay by enjoying success in Rome for the first time in his career.