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Medvedev vs Fucsovics ATP Sofia live streaming, preview and tips - Medvedev charging towards fourth career title at Sofia Open

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 10 Feb 2019
  • Daniil Medvedev vs Marton Fucsovics is live from Sofia at 5.00pm local time on Sunday (3.00pm GMT)
  • Medvedev won their only previous clash on clay in Monte-Carlo last year
Daniil Medvedev (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Daniil Medvedev goes in search of a fourth career title on Sunday when he squares off against Marton Fucsovics in the Sofia Open final.

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Rising star Daniil Medvedev has been playing top 10 tennis to launch the 2019 season - can he continue his blistering form by beating World No. 47 Marton Fucsovics and claiming a fourth ATP World Tour title at the Sofia Open on Sunday?

Medvedev has continued his rapid rise from 2018 into the early stages of this season, putting together a 10-2 start to the year and producing some spectacular tennis that should see him crack the top 10 at some stage in 2019. Indeed, the only players to have beaten Medvedev this season have been World No. 7 Kei Nishikori in the Brisbane International final and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open, with the Russian the man who trouble the eventual champion the most in Melbourne.

After helping Russia qualify for the Davis Cup Finals against Switzerland last weekend, Medvedev moved on to the Sofia Open this week and was understandably a little rusty when he dropped the first set 5-7 to Robin Haase in his opening round. However, Medvedev hasn’t conceded more than four games in a set since then, completing a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win over Haase before cruising past Martin Klizan (6-4 6-1) and Gael Monfils (6-2 6-4) to reach the final. The 22-year-old was ruthless as he attacked the second serve of Monfils in Saturday’s semi-finals, winning 74 per cent of return points and claiming all 10 points behind the Frenchman’s second delivery in the first set. That pressure and Medvedev’s ability to mix up the pace of his groundstrokes ultimately resulted in a one-sided triumph.

"I want to win. Every tournament I play I want to win. So to be in the final means I'm one step away from it. You never know what's going to happen, I could have lost in the first round [since] I lost the first set [of that match]," Medvedev said. "I'm happy with my performance and happy with my game right now."

Medvedev, currently ranked No. 16 in the world, won the second-most matches out of anyone on tour on indoor hardcourts last season and secured the most match wins on hardcourt altogether, illustrating just how dangerous he is. Taking home titles in Sydney, Winston-Salem and the ATP 500 Japan Open in Tokyo and owning a win over Stan Wawrinka on grass at Wimbledon, Medvedev’s next step is to find his feet on clay in 2019 - and if he can do that, I have no doubt in declaring him a top 10 player at some point over the next few months.

But first Medvedev has his sights set on more hardcourt glory - can he secure a fourth career title on Sunday in Sofia?

Marton Fucsovics (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Marton Fucsovics is the man who stands in his way. It’s been a solid start to the season for the World No. 47, with Fucsovics winning a match at every tournament he’s contested, reaching the second rounds in Doha, Sydney and the Australian Open before reaching his second ATP final in Sofia this week, benefitting from a withdrawal by Roberto Bautista Agut and defeating Andreas Seppi, Yannick Maden and Matteo Berrettini. Fucsovics recovered from dropping the first set after holding two set points against Berrettini to win Saturday’s semi-final clash, coming from behind to prevail 5-7 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes.

"It's always good to play the final. It's fun to play the final," Fucsovics said. "Anything can happen."

Fucsovics will be aiming to win his second career title after claiming his maiden crown on the clay of Geneva last year. A former junior World No. 1 and Wimbledon champion, that triumph was part of a career-best season for Fucsovics in 2018, with the Hungarian also making the fourth round of the Australian Open, reaching the Round of 16 at the Cincinnati Masters and finishing runner-up at the Canberra Challenger, while he also made quarter-finals at ATP 500 events in Beijing and Vienna to end the year at a career-high ranking of No. 35. Fucsovics slipped down the rankings after failing to defend his Canberra Challenger and Australian Open fourth round points in January, but he’s back up to No. 38 in the live rankings and would match his career-high mark by winning the title on Sunday.

The pair have played on before at tour-level, with Medvedev winning just his second career match on clay in Monte-Carlo last year. If Medvedev could win on his least-preferred surface, then he’s got to be considered the overwhelming favourite on his best surface and with another year’s improvement under his belt. The Russian is serving out of a tree this week and as his performance against Monfils showed, he’s in fearsome touch on return as well. Fucsovics has weapons and has been improving himself over the last 24 months, but I think Medvedev is on another level at the moment - expect a fourth career title for the Russian on Sunday.

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Medvedev vs Fucsovics ATP Sofia live streaming, preview and tips - Medvedev charging towards fourth career title at Sofia Open

Daniil Medvedev goes in search of a fourth career title on Sunday when he squares off against Marton Fucsovics in the Sofia Open final.

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