Last year on debut it was a week in London to forget for Daniil Medvedev but my god the Russian brought his A game on Monday night as he ran riot against Alex Zverev and even threw in an underarm serve.
Before the match in my tournament preview I said it was fascinating to see how Daniil reacts to his second stint in London and he opened perfectly. I have felt before the Russian take a while to get out of first gear and we saw that against Zverev in Paris and it took a while for him to crank it up but he ground through the gears perfectly in his first round robin match.
In the early exchanges it did feel like the match was going to go on all night and it was fascinating to watch the long rallies and games between the two with the opening six games taking 41 minutes as the Russian took a 4-2 lead.
The way watching Daniil figure it out and dominate around the court was a delight and Zverev who had some serving issues of his own couldn’t counter the proactive tennis from Daniil.
He has the weapons but as I said can sometimes take time to get going, in the early games he bided his time and figured things out and took the legs away from Zverev. His service games averaged over 4 minutes each in the first set and in the second we were down to just 90 seconds!
It is never easy on debut as Daniil showed last year but the performance tonight was sensational. To have a sensational performance sometimes you do have to open yourself up and Zverev did find a bit of joy in the forehand wing and hitting the winner down the line but Medvedev continually struck the ball soo well in what turned into a routine win following a tense start.
He found himself down an early break in the match as both tried to find their feet but took control and once he was in control he was tough stop losing just five points on serve in the second set.