In a battle of former Nitto ATP Finals champions, Daniil Medvedev continued his recent run of success against Alexander Zverev to become the first man to book a place in this year’s Turin semi-finals.
The third seed edged his German opponent 7-6(7), 6-4 on Wednesday night, earning his fifth win in six Lexus ATP HeadHead matchups between the pair this season and improving to 11-7 overall against Zverev. Medvedev also moved to 3-2 against Zverev at the Nitto ATP Finals, with the pair nearing Pete Sampras and Boris Becker’s record of seven matchups at the season finale.
The 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champ beat the 2018 and 2021 titlist in a match of fine margins, with Medvedev saving two set points in a tense opening-set tie-break and fighting off a break point late in set two.
Medvedev was locked in from the first ball and eased to an early 2-0 lead, but Zverev came on strong from the middle of the opening set by countering Medvedev’s metronomic baseline game with aggressive swings and well-times net approaches. The German missed a sitter volley that would have put him 5/1 up in the tie-break before both players traded costly miscues from 5/5 — Medvedev sailing an overhead long before Zverev flubbed a forehand on his first set point.
A moment of brilliance decided the set, when the ranging Medvedev lasered a down-the-line forehand that his opponent could not handle at the net.
Set two was ticking quickly towards a second tie-break with both players dominant on serve, until Medvedev fought off the first break point of the set to hold for 5-4. He opened the ensuing game with an ingenious lob off an overhead swing from beyond the baseline and closed out the match soon after, a brilliant backhand pass bringing up match point.
More to follow…