This will be the second time that these two players will compete against each other.
Their first match was in the 2017 final in Chennai (hard). Roberto Bautista won 6-3 6-4 and thus lifted the trophy.
Daniil Medvedev is playing this Masters 1000 for the fourth time in a row. After 2 premature eliminations in the 1st round, the Russian decided to pull his fingers out of his bum to go and lift the trophy (last year). We are therefore dealing with the defending champion.
Roberto Bautista is participating in this tournament in Cincinnati for the sixth time in his career. It is the second year in a row that he reaches the quarter-finals and he has never been able to do better.
In this edition
Daniil Medvedev has taken advantage of his classification to jump the first lap. For his entry into the competition, he defeated (with his fingers in his nose) Marcos Giron. In order to secure his place in the quarter-finals, the world’s 5th ranked rider then won against Aljaz Bedene in 1h10 (and with his race list in his head).
Roberto Bautista also allowed himself to dodge this 1st round. For his restart match, the Spaniard beat Richard Gasquet in 2 sets. This Tuesday, he won against Karen Khachanov.
Daniil Medvedev, 5th in the world, will therefore face Roberto Bautista, 12th in the world. This poster has some face, doesn’t it? And, no kidding, it’s far from being an easy match to predict.
Before writing these words, I didn’t look at the bookies. But I imagine they will put Daniil Medvedev as a favourite. He is better ranked and has a title to defend. It must also be said that he has passed his first two matches of the week.
Yes, but here it is. If you look at his performances against Giron and Bedene, you can quickly see that he didn’t really force himself. Most of the time he was content to return the ball very well, notably with his excellent backhand and his good lengths. The impatience of his opponents did the rest.
It is therefore difficult to assess Daniil Medvedev’s real level (and that bothers me a lot). He hasn’t really had an opponent to come and titillate him.
When you look at Roberto Bautista, you can see that the man had to work a little harder. Especially in front of Karen Khachanov where he dropped a set. But what interested me a lot about the Spaniard was his ability to react quickly. It is also his exemplary regularity in the rallies (we notice that he doesn’t make many mistakes) and his initiative. Because yes, Roberto Bautista made his opponents crack when he went to get his points.
These positive elements on Roberto Bautista’s side make me think that he has a card to play in this new match. He has a solid backhand to rival Medvedev’s (just as solid by the way) and a forehand that takes even more danger on this very fast surface.
On the negative side, I noticed Bautista’s weaknesses on his second balls. So we can say that Medvedev will attack him as soon as he has the chance (and that could well make the difference). But let’s note all the same that the Spaniard is flirting with the 70 % of the first ones, and that the Russian also showed some small weaknesses in this area (42 % of points against Giron for example).
After two very sweet matches, will Daniil Medvedev manage to raise his game against a sharp Roberto Bautista? Wouldn’t the Russian be in “economy” mode to arrive fresh at the US Open where he could play marathon matches?
As you can imagine, I am very interested in this quarter-final and I have a lot of questions.
So, compared to what I’ve seen of these two players since the beginning of the tournament, I’m going to give my preference to Roberto Bautista. Indeed, he seemed to me more enterprising and better prepared to approach this match (it is obviously a very risky prediction so take it easy on the betting friends).
Prediction: Roberto Bautista wins