Fans at Foro Italico had to wait a couple of hours before they saw the men's final of the 2023 Italian Open in Rome. But finally, the rain disappeared and the skies cleared over the Italian capital as Medvedev and Rune got off to a fight for the ATP Masters 1000 title.
Although they both triumphed in the event of the same category before, it was never on clay. The young Dane was close in Monte Carlo, but it slipped out of his hands. On the other hand, Medvedev never played in a final of the ATP 1000 clay-court event before, and he wanted to prove that he can play also on this surface.
The two met once before, and it was a quarterfinal meeting in Monte Carlo that went in Rune's favour. This time, the odds weren't so much on the Dane's side as Medvedev was enjoying probably the best week of his life on clay.
The 20-year-old had the first two break points of the match and of the first set, but he couldn't use his chances. Soon, it seemed that the first set will be decided in a tie-break, but Medvedev stopped that from happening.
He won the last three points in the twelfth game after his opponent led 30-15, winning the first set 7-5. But Rune refused to give up and started the second set with a break.
The Dane lost his advantage three games later, but he broke his opponent's serve again, and served for the set at 5-4. But he lost the lead as Medvedev had an incredible end of the match to win the second set 7-5 and win his first ATP 1000 title on clay.
By winning the 2023 Italian Open in Rome, Medvedev collected already his 20th career trophy, and what's even more interesting, all those trophies were won in different cities. After the match, he said:
"I always want to believe in myself, at the same time, I didn't believe much that I can win Masters 1000 on clay in my career, because I hated it. Before this tournament, I was kinda feeling not too bad. And coming here I felt amazing in practice."