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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday May 13, 2021

Aslan Karatsev has been all the rage in 2021—no matter the surface. Daniil Medvedev has been genius on hard courts, but on clay he’s a dog in the dirt.

Tennis Express

Today in Rome it was Karatsev keeping up his strong pace, defeating No.3-seeded Medvedev 6-2, 6-4, for his fifth Top 10 win of 2021.

Meanwhile, Medvedev went on an epic rant that kept social media smiling, right along with his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who was filmed cracking up in the stands.

During the second set Medvedev could be seen talking to himself during a changeover.

“You like to be in the dirt like a dog?” he said, while at his chair and trailing 6-2, 4-3. “It’s okay, I don’t judge.”

The fun continued...

“What did I do wrong last game guys,” he said said as he headed back to his baseline. “What can I do? I play good but no chance on this surface.”

Later he would ask ATP supervisor Gerry Armstrong, jokingly, to disqualify him.

“Gerry please, disqualify me,” he said. “I don’t want to be here. It’s dangerous for everybody.”

Medvedev Needs Some Succes on Clay for No.1 Ranking

Sure it’s funny, and Medvedev is quite a character. But there is a real issue at the heart of it. The fact that Medvedev, now ranked No.2 in the world, is 11-20 lifetime on clay, does not speak well for his chances of rising to No.1 in the ranking. With three months of the ATP season—including three Masters 1000 events and Roland Garros—taking place on clay, it will be difficult for Medvedev to rise any higher in the rankings without picking up at least a few points on the clay. So far this season he is 1-2 on the surface (0-3 lifetime at Rome), with his only win on clay in 2021 coming against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at Madrid.

Next stop for Medvedev? Roland-Garros, where he touts and 0-4 lifetime record.

Mama Mia is right!

Karatsev’s Rise Continues

Aslan Karatsev wild rise up the ATP rankings continues unabated. He entered the season with a 3-10 record on the ATP tour but after today’s win against Medvedev he is now 21-6 on the season with five Top 10 wins.

The Russian, who also owns a win over World No.1 Novak Djokovic on the clay this year, entered the season at 114 in the rankings. He currently sits at 27 and will be seeded at Roland-Garros.

Karatsev, making his Rome debut, will face Reilly Opelka in the round of 16 on Thursday.