Tennis  

Basilashvilli, Wozniacki win in Beijing, Medvedev in Tokyo

Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili hits a return during his men’s final match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina at the China Open tennis tournament… yesterday. PHOTO: AFP.

Daniil Medvedev of Russia at the weekend achieved a stunning upset in defeating Japan’s Kei Nishikori on home turf to win the Rakuten title, 6/2; 6/4. It was the second time this year that the 22- year-old played his way from the qualifying rounds to claim the title as he did in Sidney in January.

Nikoloz Basilashvilli of Georgia pulled off the biggest upset victory over top seeded Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina 6/4; 6/4 to lift the trophy in Beijing. Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark justified her seeding after the exit of the top seed, to win the women’s title by defeating Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 6/4; 6/4.

The star of the week is Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. The Monaco resident had played through the three matches in a domineering pattern, thanks to his service power, which Nishikori had been expected to handle as one of the best returners in the game.

However, in this final match, the Russian was ruthless in service delivery. In the first set, he won 22 points from 33 service deliveries. For the whole match, the tally was a staggering 38 points out of 43 successful serves.

On this final match, Kei Nishikori’s strength in returning serves did not halt the blitzkrieg.

Daniil Medvedev started the season by playing in the qualifying tournament in Sydney and went all the way to win the title. In the build-up to the US Open, he won his second title of the year in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He came to Tokyo ranked 34th in the world and had to play the qualifying event.

He was close to being defeated by his compatriot in the final match to enter the main draw. His Cinderella story ended with the victory over Nishikori.

Medvedev will rise to 22 in the world today, with the 500 points from the victory in Arena 1 of the Mushushiro Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo. He will also become the number one player in his country. His is the success story of the Asian Circuit.

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