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Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev was pushed to three sets by doubles specialist Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the Open 13 final on Sunday, winning 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4 for his 10th career title on the eve of his move up to second in the rankings.

Medvedev will overtake Rafael Nadal on Monday and push the 20-time Grand Slam champion down to No. 3.

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“It is always better when you step up the rankings when you do something great,” Medvedev said. “It is great for the self-esteem that, just before becoming No. 2, I win a tournament.”

Victory also made his childhood dream come true.

“I am really happy about the number 10. It gets me to two digits, something which I dreamt of when I was a kid,” Medvedev added. “It is already a great number, but I am going to try to work more and get some more. I really like to play on hard courts, I feel like that is where my game suits me the best. I feel like I know the solutions I have to find.”

Given that six of his 10 titles have been on indoor hard courts, he was heavy favorite here. Furthermore, the two-time Grand Slam runner-up faced a player with all four majors in doubles, but without any titles in singles and ranked 93rd.

But the serve-and-volley specialist Herbert did made it awkward for the imposing Russian at times by upsetting his rhythm, breaking his serve once and forcing him to save four break points.

“Pierre-Hugues can play unbelievable tennis. I know what he is capable of,” Medvedev said. “Especially when I lost in the Roland Garros first round. Today was a tricky, tough match and I am really happy that I managed to be on top.”

Medvedev edged the Frenchman in aces 13-10 and first-serve points won — 83% compared to 72% — while converting three of his six break points.

The Australian Open runner-up improved to 14-2 this year and has won 23 of his last 25 matches.

Boosted by his wins over second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and former No.4-ranked Kei Nishikori this week, Herbert’s confidence showed as he tried to shorten the points by rushing to the net.

But ultimately he fell short, dropping to 0-4 in singles finals compared to 19-7 in doubles.

“It has been an incredible week. I played five really high-level matches. This is what I am proud of,” Herbert said. “I lost to someone who was just better [over] the full match. I managed to hold on and have a chance, but he was too good.”

When he climbs to No. 2 on Monday, Medvedev will be the first player outside the Big Four of Roger Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to do so since Nadal in July 2005.


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