Defending champion Daniil Medvedev and world no. 10 Taylor Fritz will compete in tomorrow’s final at the Diriyah Tennis Cup presented by Aramco. The pair enjoyed semi-final wins over Stan Wawrinka and Cameron Norrie respectively earlier today at the Diriyah Arena and will now battle it out for the $1m winner’s prize money.
In the day’s early match, world no. 7 Medvedev had to grind out a win against three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka. It was only until the ninth game in the first set that the Russian finally managed to break Wawrinka’s serve to finish the set 6-4. There were several breaks of serve in the second set by both players, but after an hour and 21 minutes, the 25-year-old finished the game with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Wawrinka to maintain his phenomenal unbeaten run in Saudi Arabia.
Medvedev said: “When I go on court, I always think only about winning. And that’s how it is going to be tomorrow also. And that’s what I’m going to try to do, and we’ll see. I hope to show some good tennis when I go on court tomorrow,” he said in a post match press conference that saw 20 children from the Dhahran Junior Tennis Association special guests.
It was an even closer encounter in the other semi-final match between Fritz and Cameron Norrie, which went down to the third and final set. Nothing separated the pair in the first set, leading to the match’s first tiebreak, where Fritz came out on top 6-4. The second set then went in Norrie’s favour after an early break and commanding performance by the British no. 1. In the third set tiebreaker, the American found an edge on the big points to book his place in the final.
On playing Medvedev in tomorrow’s finals, he said: “With playing Daniil, it’s really tough. I haven’t really thought about it much. I’m just going to do the same thing that I’ve been doing since I’ve been here. Get a good night’s sleep. Maybe take a nap tomorrow; I’m still dealing with a little bit of jetlag. And hopefully, serve really well like I did in the last two days.”
In Saudi Arabia’s inaugural doubles competition, Matteo Berrettini and Andrey Rublev will take on Hubert Hurkacz and Dominic Stricker for the doubles title tomorrow.
Berrettini and Rublev proved too good for the pairing of Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem in a straight sets (6-3, 7-6) semi-final that saw the pair gel immediately.
Berrettini, competing on the same side of the court with Rublev for the first time, said: “It was really good. It’s the first time we played together in doubles, and I think we played really well. We have the same weapons in a way – a very big forehand – but we tried to make it work, and I think we made it work well.“
The second doubles semi-final saw Hubert Hurkacz and Dominic Stricker take on a exciting new pairing of Kyrgios and Tsitsipas. In a high quality encounter that went to two tie-breaks it was Hurkacz and Stricker who held their nerve in the tricky evening wind to book their spot in tomrorow’s $250k doubles final – 7-6, 7-6.
On the win, Stricker said: “It was great to play with Hubert. We’ve already played singles. It was a great experience, and I’m happy with the win. But tomorrow is another day. I think we’re going to try our best to win another match.”
Daniil Medvedev beat Stan Wawrinka (6-4, 6-4)
Taylor Fritz beat Cameron Norrie (7-6, 4-6, 10-6)
Andrey Rublev & Matteo Berrettini beat Alexander Zverev & Dominic Thiem (6-3, 7-6)
Dominic Stricker & Hubert Hurkacz beat Nick Kyrgios & Stefanos Tsitsipas (7-6, 7-6)
The Diriyah Tennis Cup presented by Aramco will return tomorrow with the finals of both the singles and doubles categories. There will also be an exhibition match that will feature the Saudi Games finalists, legends of the game, and more.
Daniil Medvedev v Taylor Fritz
Andrey Rublev & Matteo Berretini v Dominic Stricker & Hubert Hurkacz
The finals take place from 14:00 CET on Eurosport 2 on Saturday, 10 December, with matches live on Eurosport 1 from 18:00 CET.