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Medvedev Wins Diriyah Tennis Cup In Saudi Arabia, Beating Fognini In Final

By Ricky Dimon

We’re only in the middle of the tennis “offseason,” but a preseason exhibition event took place in Saudi Arabia over the weekend. None other than Daniil Medvedev, one of the breakout stars in 2019, emerged victorious in the eight-man field at the Diriyah Tennis Cup. Medvedev followed up wins over Jan-Lennard Struff and David Goffin by beating Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Russian did not lose more than three games in any set during his three matches.

“I am very happy to be first who won here,” Medvedev said of the inaugural tournament. “If it’s going to go for example twenty years, it will be very cool to be the first one. I just tried to give my best, do my job and entertaining the crowd a little bit. The crowd was not that big but people were cheering and the ceremony it was really amazing and cool. So I have just great memories.

“Of course I always try to serve as good as I can and that was a big strength of my match today.”

John Isner won the consolation bracket, bouncing back from an opening loss to Fognini. The 6’10” American defeat Stan Wawrinka to reach the consolation final before outlasting Struff 4-6, 7-5, 13-11.

“The beauty of this event is that I got two more matches after losing on the opening day and having a chance to beat Stan and Jan-Lennard in two good wins,” Isner noted. “It was perfect preparation to start my season.“

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, the chairman of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, confirmed plans for the 2020 edition were already underway.

“This is only the start of tennis in our country but what an incredible start,” the prince commented. “Already in a single week huge strides have been made and the sport has earned a place in the hearts of so many, young and old, boys and girls. I am extremely proud that a perfect platform has been built for tennis to grow.

“When we pictured staged an international event, the scenes here today are exactly what we hoped for: world-class tennis being played to a full stadium and players made to feel right at home. I know this will have inspired a lot of people to pick up a racket, including myself. Already we are discussing plans for an even bigger and better 2020 edition.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


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