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Medvedev crushes qualifier Hanfmann to reach Italian Open semis

ROME - Daniil Medvedev continued his Italian Open clay breakthrough on Thursday as the third seed reached the semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Yannick Hanfmann.

The 2021 US Open champion freely admits he has never been comfortable on the dirt but has shattered that stereotype with his steady progress at the Foro Italico, reaching his seventh semi-final of the season.

He dominated No. 101 German qualifier Hanfmann after settling in following breaks of serve in the opening three games in their quarter-final.

After going down a break in the second set, the 31-year-old Hanfmann complained to his coaching box that he had no legs left as he played on prior to losing serve for the fifth time in the match.

But he struck back briefly with a break of the seed to hold on for 2-4 before dropping serve again as Medvedev moved into winning position, closing it out on a second match point.

“I’ve been having good feelings in practice and I’m proving it here,” Medvedev said.

“I’m happy with the win and happy to be in the semi-finals.”

Prior to this edition, he had never won a match in Rome and had little confidence in his game on the clay.

He is now into the final four after four victories and the loss of just one set.

“Against Hanfmann, I wanted to put as many balls into the court as possible. He plays very aggressive,” he said.

“I played deep to try and make him miss – and maybe he was not playing his best match. He was struggling more than me. I’m glad I was able to neutralise his game.”

Medvedev also increased his lead in Tour match wins as he claimed his 37th of the season.

He will next face Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Croatian 15th seed Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4. AFP