Medvedev and Zverev to contest Shanghai Masters final
Daniil Medvedev of Russia keeps his eyes on the ball as he plays against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in their men's singles semi-finals match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai on Saturday. Photo: Andy Wong/AP
LONDON – Russian Daniil Medvedev is through to his third Masters final of the year after defeating Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 in Saturday's Shanghai Masters semi-finals.
Alexander Zverev will play Medvedev in the final on Sunday after the German dispatched Italy's Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
For Zverev, the win maintains his hopes of qualifying for November's season-ending ATP Finals event in London, where he is the defending champion.
Meanwhile, Medvedev edged the first set in his match thanks to two straight errors from Tsitsipas in a tie-break.
Despite missing a chance to serve out the match at 5-4, Medvedev rallied to a second break and completed the contest in 1 hour 36 minutes.
"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.
"When I was serving for the match he changed it again, surprised me again," Medvedev said. "I made some mistakes that I shouldn't do, but I'm really glad to be in the final after a tough match."
His latest win means Medvedev enters a sixth straight tournament final, where he will aim to win his second Masters title after claiming the Cincinnati trophy in August.
"It's a great achievement. I'm proud of myself and hopefully I get the win tomorrow," Medvedev added.
The world number four continues a stellar season in which Medvedev reached his first grand slam final at the US Open and his first Masters final at the Rogers Cup.
"Every loss I learn from," Medvedev said.
"For example, US Open final, a great match, a great final, and I was disappointed to lose so I approach the match the same way, whether it's first round or a final."
Zverev started the strongest against Berrettini and roared "come on," when he outlasted the Italian in a rally to break for a 3-1 lead.
Serving for the set at 5-3, an ace followed by an overhead smash sealed Zverev's advantage.
The 23-year-old Berrettini, who will earn his first top-10 ranking on Monday, saved three break points at 4-4 in the second set.
However, he missed a crucial volley on the next break point to give Zverev the opportunity to serve for the match.
Zverev ended the match with an ace to enter his first final on Chinese territory after 68 minutes.
"It feels great (to win), I've played some really good tennis this week," Zverev said.
"Being in a massive final here in Shanghai is very special for me because it's my first final in China, in general."
Zverev is currently in seventh position to qualify for the season-ending Finals, but his latest win in China does not confirm his place just yet.
Berrettini is also in with a chance of qualifying by holding the eighth and final place with two spots remaining.
"I wish him (Berrettini) nothing but the best to qualify for London as well as me," Zverev said. "It's going to be difficult no matter what."
It was the 21-year-old Tsitsipas who faltered first against Medvedev, despite missing three break points at 4-4.
In the tie-break, the world number seven sent a foreland long to trail 6-5 before a wide backhand gifted the first set to Medvedev.
Medvedev stretched for a stunning backhand pass to earn him a break at 2-1 in the second set.
However, when Tsitsipas had three break points with Medvedev serving for the match at 5-4, Medvedev misfired a return to give Tsitsipas a chance.
That chance was quickly erased when Medvedev broke a second time for 6-5 and another opportunity to serve into the final.
Medvedev made no mistake this time as he completed the match with a determined serve and volley.
Medvedev now faces Zverev, who he has not beaten in four previous contests and the two will meet for the first time in 2019 on Sunday.
"We've played some fantastic matches that have all went my way so hopefully that will not change," Zverev said.
"He's one of the best players in the world right now so I hope it's going to be a good match."