Daniil Medvedev vs Alexander Zverev - Shanghai Masters Finals - Preview and Prediction
A wonderful week of tennis has taken place in Shanghai. The old guard has been unseated and the young brigade has taken centre-stage in a top tournament.
In an unexpected clash in the finals, 23-year old Daniil Medvedev will face off against 22-year old Alexander Zverev as two Next-Gen players look to breach barriers in a high-stakes final.
- Zverev has a 4-0 head to head record against Medvedev
- Zverev has won three ATP Masters titles, while Medvedev has won only one.
- This is Zverev's sixth ATP Masters Final, while Medvedev has reached his third one.
- This is Medvedev's ninth final this season while this is Zverev's third final.
- This year, Medvedev has beaten Djokovic while Zverev has beaten Federer.
- Medvedev has some stunning stats, 58 wins overall, winning 28 of his last 31 matches this year.
- Zverev has hit 64 aces in four matches in Shanghai compared to Medvedev's 38
- Medvedev has hit less double faults (nine) compared to Zverev's 12
- Medvedev edges Zverev in win percentage on the first serve, he has 82% compared to Zverev's 81.5%
- Zverev has a marginally higher breakpoint conversion of 52% compared to Medvedev's 50%
- If Zverev wins against Medvedev, he will get 400 points and can stake a claim to the ATP finals.
The Russian has been in beast mode for the last three months. This is his sixth final in a row and it is stunning that he has been maintaining so much consistency. His unorthodox game style, big-serve and accuracy has been troubling everyone on the tour.
On the mental side, the World number 4, who was hot-headed before, has impressed everyone with his calmness. All the crunch moments in crucial matches have gone in favour of the third seed.
He has not lost a set yet in the tournament so far. "Bear", as he is fondly called, has won 16 sets in a row. After a home triumph in the St.Petersburg Open, Medvedev strategically chose to skip two ATP 500 tournaments, China Open and Japan Open.
It was evident that he was eyeing the big prize considering his form in Shanghai so far. A straight-sets demolition of the Brit, Cameron Norrie in the round of 32 was followed by a thrilling win, 7-6 7-5 against Canadian, Vasek Pospisil in the pre-quarterfinals.
10th seed, Fabio Fognini, who loves playing on hard-courts was also defeated comprehensively in straight sets in the quarter-finals. In a scintillating semi-final, Medvedev stood like a rock battling past third seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek, who had stunned number 1 and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, in the quarterfinals could not convert multiple chances.
On the other hand, Zverev has revived his failing season with some spectacular performances in the Asian swing. He reached the China Open semifinals where he lost to Tsitsipas in the semifinals..
"Sascha" has not reduced his intensity. The German prevailed in two tense tie-breakers against Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy in the round of 32. An in-form Andrey Rublev was blown away 6-0, 7-6 in the pre-quarterfinals.
In an epic match in the quarter-finals, Zverev prevailed over Roger Federer in three sets 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. The big-serving Matteo Berrettini who had beaten the China Open champ, Dominic Thiem in straight sets earlier was taken down 6-3, 6-4 in the semis as the fifth seed romped to the finals.
“I did say before this year and during this year in the beginning that Sascha was the best in our group. He won three ATP Masters 1000 titles when none of us were even close to doing this, the positions have changed a little bit, so I think I can contest him now,” said Medvedev praising Zverev
“In the past few months, he's probably the best player in the world, making it to six finals in a row, winning a Masters, making it to the US Open final, so he's definitely been playing the best tennis of his life", said Zverev reflecting his admiration for Medvedev.
Whatever be the outcome, athleticism, energy and excitement will be witnessed as Shanghai brings out a bright future for the glorious sport of tennis.
Prediction - Daniil Medvedev to win in three sets
Cover Image Credits - atptour.com