Tennis: Lajovic advances to Monte Carlo final with win over Medvedev

Serbia's Dusan Lajovic celebrates after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev.
Serbia's Dusan Lajovic celebrates after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev.PHOTO: AFP

MONACO (DPA) - Dusan Lajovic advanced to his first final at the Monte Carlo Masters after he defeated 10th seed Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling encounter that culminated 7-5, 6-1 on Saturday afternoon (April 20).

He raised his arms as the wind, which had irritated Medvedev all match, swirled around, enveloping him in a mist as he celebrated his greatest result at this level.

All but one of the superpowers on the men's tour have gone: the top-ranked Novak Djokovic, last year's finalist Dominic Thiem, world number 3 Alexander Zverev. And then here was Lajovic, in the final.

The opponent standing in his way to a maiden Masters title remains formidable - he will have to beat Rafal Nadal or Fabio Fognini on Sunday - but for now, all he wanted was to wallow in his achievement.

Lajovic emerged the victor the hard way, having to come back from a four-game deficit after he was broken in his first and third service games of what would eventually turn out to be a one-hour opening set.

He realised his disadvantage hitting shots during the often long rallies far behind the baseline, and in moving higher up the court by the seventh game, won the next six games to take it 7-5.

Medvedev could not recover from the effort thrown back at him by Lajovic having thought he would surely win the first set once 5-1 ahead. By the second, he held serve just once before admitting defeat.