Daniil Medvedev says becoming world number two ‘great for self-esteem’ after clinching Marseille title

Daniil Medvedev has won his tenth career title at the Open 13 Provence on the eve of holding his highest ever ranked position as world number two.

The Russian beat Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in three sets in the ATP 250 tournament in Marseille on Sunday, winning 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

Medvedev hit top form at the end of 2020, beginning of 2021 where he won three tournaments in a row – the Paris 1000 Masters, The Nitto ATP Finals and leading Team Russia to victory in the the ATP Cup.

Along the way he won twenty matches in a row, twelve of which were against top ten opposition before his streak came to an end against world number one Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final.

Tomorrow, when Medvedev takes his position as world number two, it will be the first time in 16 years that the ATP Tour will have a top two player not called Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray.

Medvedev says he is happy he has been able to mark the occasion by hitting double figures in career titles.

“It is always better when you step up the rankings when you do something great,” Medvedev said.

“It is great for the self-esteem that, just before becoming No. 2, I win a tournament.”

“I am really happy about the number 10. It gets me to two digits, something which I dreamt of when I was a kid.

“It is already a great number, but I am going to try to work more and get some more. I really like to play on hard courts, I feel like that is where my game suits me the best. I feel like I know the solutions I have to find.”

His opponent Herbert had seen off both Kei Nishikori and Stefanos Tsitsipas to make the  final, and Medvedev said he was aware of the threat he posed.

“Pierre-Hugues can play unbelievable tennis. I know what he is capable of,” Medvedev said.

“Especially when I lost in the Roland Garros first round. Today was a tricky, tough match and I am really happy that I managed to be on top.”

Meanwhile Herbert seemed pleased with his performance but paid respects to the talent of Medvedev.

“It has been an incredible week. I played five really high-level matches. This is what I am proud of,” said Herbert.

“I lost to someone who was just better [over] the full match. I managed to hold on and have a chance, but he was too good.”

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