hamburg94medvedev_kafelnikov

Points won by each set: | 36-32, 32-30, 24-31, 29-22 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
15 % Medvedev – 18 of 119
11 % Kafelnikov – 14 of 117

Two players born in 1974, who grew up in the Soviet Union – after its split in 1991 Kafelnikov represented Russia, while Medvedev represented Ukraine. They were friends at the time, practicing a lot together, also their game-styles were very similar – flat hard strokes from both wings, decent serves and decent volleys. Already in 1993 the 19-year-old Medvedev established himself as a Top 10 player while his peer Kafelnikov only made his breakthrough to the Top 100. So when they met in the Hamburg final, they were in two different stages of their career – Medvedev [8] confirmed that he’s the biggest contender to triumph at Roland Garros in the next few years (along with Sergi Bruguera & Jim Courier), while Kafelnikov [29] achieved his biggest result at the time. The table turned in the following year as Kafelnikov matured as a player while his Ukrainian friend’s form decreased quite drastically. In the second part of the 90s Kafelnikov was reaching the pinnacle of men’s tennis while Medvedev was suffering a downhill, until his sensational run at Roland Garros ’99; it was a swan song nevertheless…

Medvedev’s route to his 8th title:
2 Bernd Karbacher 6-2, 6-3
3 Paul Haarhuis 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
Q Magnus Gustafsson 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
S Javier Sanchez 6-4, 6-1
W Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

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