Russian rising star Daniil Medvedev powered into his third ATP Masters final of the season in Shanghai after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 7-6 (5), 7-5 on Saturday.
The US Open finalist will face a tough challenge in the final, taking on German talent Alexander Zverev, who beat the Russian in all their four previous meetings, Xinhua news reported.
“He’s different this year,” Zverev said about Medvedev. “The last few months he has probably been the best player in the world. He’s definitely playing the best tennis of his life.”
Medvedev (23) has established himself as the biggest star outside the Big Three — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer — in 2019 as he now has a Tour-leading 58 wins and three Masters final appearances, including a winning showdown over David Goffin of Belgium in Cincinnati. Shanghai will be his stellar sixth final in a row.
Zverev, the fifth seed, toppled 11th seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal. The 22-year-old also kept his hopes of appearing in the ATP Finals in London alive with this win. He is the title holder of the year-end tournament.
“Being in a massive final here in Shanghai is very special for me because it’s my first final in China,” Zverev said after the match.
“This was a much different match than playing against Roger (Federer). I take a lot of positives from this into the final tomorrow,” he said.
Berrettini saved three break points at 4-4 in the second set, but failed in the fourth and gave Zverev the chance to serve for the match. The German didn’t miss it and fired an ace to secure the victory in 68 minutes.
Greek player Tsitsipas, who knocked out world number 1 Djokovic on Friday, still secured a place in the year’s ATP Finals despite the defeat to Medvedev in the semifinal.
“He (Tsitsipas) was playing a great match, I think, and I think he was a bit unlucky because he was playing quite surprising for me,” Medvedev said after his semifinal win over Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas (21) missed a set point in the 12th game of the first set before committing two errors in the tiebreak which he lost 5-7.
Third seed Medvedev played consistently in the second set as he broke twice in the third and 12th games. Tsitsipas also broke in the 10th game, when Medvedev was serving for the match, to level the set 5-5.
“When I was serving for the match he changed it again, surprised me again,” Medvedev said. “I made some mistakes that I shouldn’t have done, but I’m really glad to be in the final after a tough match.”
“It’s a great achievement. I’m proud of myself and hopefully I get the win tomorrow,” Medvedev added.