Two finals in a row in grass-court tournaments would seem to be the ideal preparation for most players. But Daniil Medvedev cannot play for the All England Club this season.
Medvedev beat Oscar Otte 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Saturday to reach the Halle Open final, a week after being a runner-up in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Otte held set point at 5-3 in the first set, but Medvedev forced the tiebreak.
The 26-year-old Russian will face Hubert Hurkacz in the final on Sunday. The Pole defeated Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4).
Wimbledon begins on June 27 without Medvedev or any player from Russia and its ally Belarus. Wimbledon’s decision to impose the ban due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine differs from that of the other Grand Slams and the men’s and women’s tours, which will not award ranking points for the grass-court major.
That hasn’t stopped Medvedev from gaining momentum on the pitch. With his win over Otte he is 6-1 on grass this season. His only unexpected loss was to Tim van Rijthoven, ranked 205, last week in the final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.
The decision not to award points at Wimbledon also favors Medvedev, who last year only reached the fourth round and therefore has fewer points to expire than champion Novak Djokovic.
The semifinal between Hurkacz and Kyrgios was a festival of power: the Pole had 27 aces against 30 from Kyrgios, who lost despite holding all his aces.