Pouille Rallies Past Medvedev to Reach Semifinals at Marseille

by John on February 24, 2017

Frenchman Lucas Pouille rallied to defeat rising NextGen star Daniil Medvedev of Russia 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Open 13 Marseille in the first match of the evening on Friday. Pouille, seeded No. 4, withstood the firepower of the 21-year-old Russian in the opening set and turned things around by finding his range in the second. The third set was a tossup until the No. 17-ranked Frenchman broke Medvedev in the ninth game. Pouille, 23, had a breakthrough season last year, beating Juan Martin del Potro in the third round at Wimbledon, knocking off Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at the U.S. Open and winning his first ATP Tour title at Metz in September. He posted a 34-22 record on the tour and saw his ranking jump from No. 78 at beginning of the year to a career-high No. 15 at the end. Medvedev came out blasting away and had Pouille on his heels most of the first set. The Frenchman did serve nine aces in the opener and that saved him from being broken in all but one of his five service games. Medvedev, however, was winning most of the rallies with his flat, laser-like ground strokes. The Russian started misfiring at the beginning of the second set and had to back off going for broke on most everything he hit. He gave his shots more margin over the net and that in turn gave Pouile more time. Pouille feasted on the opportunity, dialed in and raced to a 5-0 lead. Medvedev held once and Pouille served it out to take the set in just 21 minutes. Both served well in the final set, but Pouille a little better. The Frenchman never faced a break point, while Medvedev looked at four. Medvedev erased one in the seventh game, and the first two of three in the ninth but not the fatal third. Pouille sealed the win when Medvedev overcooked a forehand return long. The Frenchman served 15 aces on the day, won 89 percent of his first service points and saved one of two break points. Medvedev had 10 aces and won 74 percent of the points on his first serve. The Russian save four of seven break points. Pouille will face fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the semifinals tomorrow.

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