Medvedev comes good with Cincinnati Masters title

Cincinnati: Daniil Medvedev, coming off back-to-back ATP finals defeats, held off David Goffin 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 Sunday to win the ATP Cincinnati Masters. The ninth-seeded Russian finished with an ace after saving break points in the final game, lifting a first Masters 1000 trophy after settling for runner-up finishes to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and Rafael Nadal in Montreal last weekend.

“I’ve had so much support these three weeks,” Medvedev said. “To finally lift a trophy is just an amazing feeling.” After his full-on post-Wimbledon schedule, the winner admitted: “I’m so exhausted, I almost can’t talk now. But the crowd gave me amazing energy.”

Medvedev followed up his semi-final upset of defending champion Novak Djokovic as he controlled feisty Belgian Goffin to win an ATP leading 31st hardcourt match. He has the most match wins on any surface this year with 43. Spanish superstar Nadal, who did not play this week — is second with 41, followed by Roger Federer on 39.

Medvedev stamped himself a contender for the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season that starts in Flushing Meadows in a week. Goffin was competing in his second final of 2019 after losing to Federer in Halle. “Congratulations to your team,” he told Medvedev, “Once again, an unbelievable week for you, fantastic. “I think you are ready for New York.”

Medvedev powered to a 4-1 lead in the opening set but had to win it in a tiebreaker as Goffin, coached by 2002 Australian open winner Thomas Johansson, fought back.

But Medvedev’s break in the opening game of the second set was all he needed as he avenged a loss to Goffin at Wimbledon this year.
Madison Keys came from a break down in both sets to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) on Sunday to win the WTA Cincinnati crown. The 2017 US Open finalist notched her fifth career title and second this season after a win in Charleston in April. She’ll return to the top 10 in the world rankings with the US Open a week away.

Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam champion working her way back up the rankings after a series of injuries, was broken back in the 10th game of each set by 16th-seeded Keys — who fired 13 aces on the way to victory.

“If my team had told me a week ago that I would be here, I would have laughed in their face,” admitted Keys, who had endured two opening-match defeats since a second-round exit at Wimbledon. Keys belted a total of 43 winners with 33 unforced errors and broke Kuznetsova three times.

Despite leading both sets, Kuznetsova never had a set point in either, Keys winning the final four games of the first set before dropping her serve in the third game of the second. Keys broke Kuznetsova to level at 5-all and ran out the winner in the ensuing tiebreaker as the Russian sent a service return long on Keys’s second match point.

Former world number two Kuznetsova, who received a wildcard into the draw, beat top seed Ashleigh Barty, world number three Ashleigh Barty and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens on her way to the final. The Russian veteran will jump from 118th to 31st in the rankings and said she’d had a ‘great week.’ “I want to thank the tournament for giving me a wild card for the second years in a row,” she said. “I certainly did better than last year. Thanks to the American people who supported me and pulled me through many matches in this tournament.”