Daniil Medvedev broke new ground at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday when he cruised past German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals in Rome for the first time.

The third seed had never won a match in the Italian capital before this fortnight, but has produced some of his best tennis to advance to the last four at an ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event for just the second time (Monte-Carlo 2019).

“I said before the tournament I was feeling really great in practice,” Medvedev said. “It is always a danger to say this if you lose the first round and you think, ‘Why did I say this’. But I am feeling great. The transition from Grand Stand to center court was not easy. He was struggling more than me and I am happy with the win and being in the semis.”

In a dominant performance against Hanfmann, Medvedev sat deep behind the baseline to soak up the German’s powerful hitting, striking a number of stunning passing winners. The third seed moved well on centre court and timed the ball cleanly off both wings to advance after one hour and 20 minutes.

“I knew I had to put as many balls into the court as possible because he plays aggressively,” Medvedev said. “There aren’t going to be many points where you dictate, it will be mainly him. But what you have to do is play deep and try and make him miss. Maybe he didn’t play his best match but that is how it works, you can’t play your best match every day and I am happy I could neutralise his attacking style.”

Medvedev has now earned a Tour-leading 18 ATP Masters 1000 wins this season, highlighted by his run to the title in Miami last month. The 27-year-old, who defeated Alexander Zverev in the fourth round, will continue the quest for his fifth trophy of the season when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas or Borna Coric in the semi-finals on Saturday.


Medvedev is currently first in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and will extend his lead to 845 points if he wins his sixth ATP Masters 1000 crown this week after second-placed Carlos Alcaraz lost in the third round in Rome.

In one of his best performances of the season, Medvedev was zoned in from ball one against Hanfmann. In an impressive first set, the third seed won 80 per cent (16/20) of his first-serve points and was aggressive throughout, striking 14 winners to lead. The second set followed a similar story, with Medvedev controlling the baseline exchanges with his weight and depth of shot to earn his 37th win of the season.

Hanfmann was competing in the quarter-finals at an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time after upsetting Top 10 stars Taylor Fritz and Andrey Rublev en route to the last eight. The 31-year-old German has climbed 37 spots to No. 64 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his dream run in Italy.

“Speaking of #Steals. This. Rally. Is. Daylight. Robbery”@DaniilMedwed‘s #Steal score today:
49% (23/47) 👀 🤯

Tour Avg. 32%#StealScore calculates how often a player has won the point when they are in defence during the point.@RobKoenigTennis https://t.co/cWK7T9wRn4

— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) May 18, 2023