World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, banned from Wimbledon, ends grass season with QF defeat in Mallorca

By: AP |

June 24, 2022 10:21:18 am

Russia's Daniil Medvedev plays a shot. (File)

Daniil Medvedev finished his tennis season on grass after a straight-set loss to Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinals of the Mallorca Championships on Thursday.

The Russian international lost 6-3, 6-2 after entering the match with an 8-2 record on the surface this year, with his losses coming in consecutive finals in Germany and the Netherlands.

Medvedev, the defending champion in Mallorca, had only one break opportunity against the 20th-ranked Bautista Agut, who had advanced without having to play in the last 16 because Nick Kyrgios withdrew with an abdominal injury. It was the fourth win against a No. 1 player for the Spaniard, with his three previous victories coming against Novak Djokovic.

“I had to play very good to beat Daniil,” Bautista Agut said. “He’s the No. 1, the last champion here in Mallorca. He just beat me a few days ago. I played a really complete match.”

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Medvedev, who will not play at Wimbledon because of the ban on Russians over the war in Ukraine, needed to come from behind to get past Aslan Karatsev in the round of 16 on Wednesday. The Russian had also beaten Bautista Agut in two sets in the quarterfinals in Germany last week.

Bautista Agut will play in the semifinals against Antoine Bellier, a 303rd-ranked Swiss qualifier who got past Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Bellier became the lowest-ranked semifinalist since then-No. 335 Juan Manuel Cerundolo triumphed in Cordoba in 2021.

Second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas had cruised into the quarterfinals but needed three sets against American Marcos Giron to make it to the last four on Thursday. His 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 victory came in more than 2½ hours.

“It was a lot of work today. It was not easy,” Tsitsipas said. “I had to deal with the heat, had to deal with my opponent playing great. It was a big physical effort. I had the fighting spirit.”

The sixth-ranked Greek, who leads the tour with 38 wins this season, will next face Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, who defeated Germany’s Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 6-4.

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