Alexander, Zverev

Alexander Zverev beats Daniil Medvedev at ATP World Tour Finals – live! – The Guardian



November 16, 2019
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Saturday’s order of play

2pm: [6] Stefanos Tsitsipas v Roger Federer [3]
8pm: [5] Dominic Thiem v Alexander Zverev [7]

Finally, here is Kevin Mitchell’s report from this afternoon.

That’s all from me today after another great day of tennis at the O2 Arena.Nadal vs Tsitsipas ended up as perhaps the second best match of the week and we have a fitting pair of semi-finals in store. With Nadal out, only 38 year-old Federer will represent the big 3 in the semis. Can he keep the youngsters at bay for one more week?

Here is Sascha Zverev in his on-court interview:


I’m in the semis now again. And obviously, probably this arena, the O2, is the most special for me where I play my best tennis. The atmosphere here is something that we don’t play in at all, anywhere else in the world. This is so special to us. Thank you very much for all the support and I hope a lot of you guys will come out tomorrow.

Especially today, he has nothing to lose anymore, it’s his last match of the season where he can just enjoy tennis, enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the stadium and for me it was a must-win situation to go through. And yeah, he’s probably been the best player in the world over the summer. Making it to 6 straight finals is unbelievable – you’ve not seen that in a long time. So all credits to him, it was an unbelievable year. From basically being 20 in the world in the beginning of the year to world number 4 now is something incredible and I’m sure next year he’s going to be dangerous as well.

I think I played two great matches, to be honest. The one in the middle wasn’t the best but I’m still through and that’s the most important. Obviously, very special night against Rafa, my first win against him obviously in this stadium as well. I still gotta improve. It doesn’t get easier now. We’re in the semi-finals, only the best four players are still out here and of course I have to play my best tennis to have another chance.

Actually, at this stage, not tough at all. We’re playing the semi-finals of the world tour finals. I mean, playing here against your friend means that both of you have done incredibly well throughout the whole year and obviously also this week. It’s a great honour to play against him, he’s been unbelievable this year and it’s gonna be a fun match hopefully.

A strange match!Medvedev served incredibly well for long stretches, but other than that, he didn’t have too much to offer. Understandably so, considering he is already out of the tournament.

Zverev did what he had to do, more or less matching the Russian’s serving, coming to the net well and playing a clean match to move into the semi-final. 21 winners and 19 errors from the German. The defending champ continues to fight for his title.

Alexander Zverev defeats Daniil Medvedev 6-4 7-6(4)

The German does just enough to see out his rival. He will face Dominic Thiem in the semi-final. Tsitsipas will face Federer.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 6-6 (3-5) Alexander Zverev:Hawk-eye is Sascha Zverev’s best friend. First Medvedev stops the point at *2-1 to challenge a deep forehand from the German, which hawkeye deems in. Then Zverev crushes a huge forehand down the line at 3-2 to Medvedev. The ball is called out but he challenges. A big serve from Zverev and a double fault from Medvedev. Suddenly, the German is two points away.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 6-6 Alexander Zverev:It’s tiebreak time. Zverev crushes more huge serves and seals off another hold with a smooth backhand down the line. This was always the likeliest outcome. Now let’s see who can keep up that serving and who will fail.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 6-5* Alexander Zverev:This set has moved at such a blinding pace. Medvedev once again saunters through a love service game. After sprinting to the net and slamming down a smash, he holds with an ace down the T. He has lost 4 points on his serve in this set. Zverev has lot 5. Easy.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 *5-5 Alexander Zverev:Medvedev took the first point of the game to move within three points of taking the set, but nothing more. Zverev responded with more nuclear serving to edge ahead again. Medvedev will rue the missed routine forehand at 30-15, but Zverev held to 30 with a huge serve followed by a solid overhead. A tiebreak is on the horizon.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 5-4* Alexander Zverev:That was a fantastic hold from Medvedev, saving break point to move within a game of levelling the match. After failing to win a point on Medvedev’s serve for so long, Zverev finally made his move, crushing a great crosscourt forehand winner to lead 0-30. But Medvedev responded with two successive big serves. After double faulting to fall down break point, the Russian slammed an ace out wide and then a huge forehand down the line to move up game point. After a gruelling point, a Zverev backhand flew long and Medvedev survives.

The crowd is cheering – no doubt they want Nadal in the semi-final and another Federer-Nadal classic in London. No doubt they also just want a great match.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 *4-4 Alexander Zverev:Is Zverev feeling the pressure after failing to win a point on Medvedev’s serve for three and a half games? No chance. He slams down a love hold of his own with a series of huge serves. A huge 104mph forehand down the line winner from the German. He closed it off with a 120mph ace out wide. We continue.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 4-3* Alexander Zverev:Medvedev is growing in stature and he slams down yet another love hold to move ahead again. He struck a bomb of a crosscourt backhand winner to move up to 40-0, then forced a backhand error from Zverev with a nice inside out forehand. Medvedev has now won 14 points in a row on serve. Untouchable.

Daniil Medvedev is still fighting.

Daniil Medvedev is still fighting. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Updated

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 *3-3 Alexander Zverev:At last, some pressure! Zverev led 30-0 with 15 points in a row on serve between the pair when he dumped a volley into the net after a nice low backhand passing shot from Medvedev. Zverev then double faulted badly to bring up 30-30. But he shrugged off the pressure and threw down two huge first serves to scupper the danger. No problem.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 3-2* Alexander Zverev:The break won’t come here! Medvedev pounds more serves and collects another love hold, sealed with a big crosscourt forehand. He has now won 10 points in a row on his serve. The Russian’s confidence seems to be growing.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 *2-2 Alexander Zverev.This time Zverev holds for 15 with yet another booming service game of his own. This time, he dismounts with a 140mph service winner down the T. Who will make the first move on return? Both players are in such a good service rhythm right now and have lost a combined two points on their serves so far in this set.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 2-1* Alexander Zverev:Medvedev holds with love service game of his own, pounding a great crosscourt forehand to move up 40-0. On game point, Zverev misses a forehand return. We move on.

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 *1-1 Alexander Zverev:Zverev responds with a love hold of his own, closing off with a service winner down the T. It’s difficult to overstate how quickly these service games are moving. Two 6’6 big servers on a fast court taking very little time between points.

Updated

Second set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 1-0* Alexander Zverev:Medvedev shrugs off the first set and holds to 15 with another slick hold and plenty of big serving, sealing the hold with a service winner. He is still in this match.

Updated

First set: Daniil Medvedev 4-6 Alexander Zverev:

Alexander Zverev is a set away from the semi-finals. Just as it seemed that Zverev had the set in his grasp, it all came a little undone. Zverev blasted a forehand drive volley long, then Medvedev easily slotted a forehand passing shot after a weak drop shot from Zverev.

But the German has played well and he knows it. He remained calm and responded with a couple of big forehands on the first point, then some huge serving. He sealed the set with a big crosscourt forehand. Good work.

Alexander Zverev plays a backhand to Daniil Medvedev on his way to taking the first set.

Alexander Zverev plays a backhand to Daniil Medvedev on his way to taking the first set. Photograph: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

Updated

First set: Daniil Medvedev 4-5* Alexander Zverev:These games are moving comically fast. Both players are serving huge and moving really quickly between points. Medvedev strings together another series of big serves, holding with a sweet forehand winner down the line.

First set: Daniil Medvedev *3-5 Alexander Zverev:Zverev pieces together another great hold. The German keeps on coming forward – a nice little serve and volley from him at 30-15. A Medvedev return flies well long and the German is a game away.

Q. I know that No. 1 at the start of the season wasn’t a target for you at the end of the year, but now that you have it, now that you’re sitting next to that trophy, does this mean as much to you as winning a Grand Slam?


RAFAEL NADAL: Is different to — I know is something big, and I know is something so important because it’s something that you did it because to achieve this you have to play well 11 months. To win a Grand Slam you have to play well two weeks.

But it’s difficult to compare. For me personally, when you win a Grand Slam, you win a Grand Slam winning the last point, and that feeling you can’t have it here, you know. You know, that’s the big difference, you know.

So I don’t want to compare because will be not fair. Both things are great. Winning, for example, the US Open this year have been super emotional, especially the way that this have been.

Having this with me is something unexpected and very emotional for me, because I think after all the things that I went through, means a lot to have this with me, no? Difficult to compare. Both things important. I don’t want to say one (smiling).

First set: Daniil Medvedev 3-4* Alexander Zverev:Medvedev responds with a lightning fast hold of his own. Plenty of big serving and sealed with his fourth ace.

First set: Daniil Medvedev *2-4 Alexander Zverev:The most shocking stat of the day so far: Zverev is 5/5 in net points today. Zverev is one of the least capable net players in the top 50 and his confidence there today reflects his confidence in general. He produced a pair of really nice volleys at 15-15, then slammed down two successive aces to hold.

Zverev’s final ace was 144mph. It must be his biggest serve so far. Will he go higher?

Updated

First set: Daniil Medvedev 2-3* Alexander Zverev:Medvedev was just down 0-30 and staring down the possibility of a double break. How did he react? Ace, ace, 131mph second serve ace. He held after a Zverev backhand flew long.

Medvedev has no reason to hold back on second serves considering he is already out of the event. Expect more bombs soon.

First set: Daniil Medvedev *1-3 Alexander Zverev:Zverev edges out a hold to retain his lead, but it sure wasn’t easy. Medvedev is starting to make some progress and moved to 15-30 with a beautiful dropshot. But after a forehand error, Zverev won the essential 30-30 point by forcing a Medvedev error with some punishing crosscourt forehands. He held with a huge unreturned serve. I previously mentioned Zverev’s big serving – he’s currently averaging 139mph.

Updated

A pressing question.

Q.You turned 21 this year. I’m curious if you actually feel like a grown adult?


STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think this growth in me was also connecting with other people, which I wasn’t really willing in a way to do before, because I was really concentrating on my tennis.

That first interaction kind of got me a little bit more — just got me to realize certain things that I didn’t know before and how this world works and everything.

And also, I was struggling as a child with fear of rejection, so I was never really able to open up and say what I feel and whatever.

So this kind of has matured me over the last couple of months, taught me a lot of things. I feel much more as a 21-year-old now than I did before. It was also something that helped a lot, not just in my tennis over the last couple of months but also in my behavior and my everyday life.

First set: Daniil Medvedev 1-2* Alexander Zverev:Some good work there from Medvedev to put himself on the board with a hold to 15. He opened the game really well with a great lob after chasing a Zverev dropshot at full sprint and the Russian closed it all up with a vicious forehand down the line set up by a big serve.

First set: Daniil Medvedev *0-2 Alexander Zverev:Zverev has been serving absolutely huge this week, frequently scaling 140mph and above. He does so again in the opening game, slamming down an easy hold to 15. Beyond the big serving, a nice attempt at a drop shot at 30-15. The German moved in behind it and slotted away the easy volley. He looks very composed so far.

First set: Daniil Medvedev 0-1* Alexander Zverev:That was a very shaky start from Medvedev, who looked like he was trying to shorten ralles as much as possible. Zverev just loaded every single ball onto the Russian’s forehand and watched as he hit himself out of his first service game.

However, the most eventful part of that game was Boris Becker attempting to catch a wayward ball in the stands. He failed and then he bowed his head in shame. Chin up, Boris.

And who will be the world’s second biggest Daniil Medvedev fan for the next few hours?The Russian’s great enemy Stefanos Tsitsipas. If Medvedev wins, Tsitsipas faces Thiem and Nadal will face Federer. If Zverev wins, he will face Thiem and Tsitsipas will have to face Federer.

Vicky Georgatou
(@VGeorgatou)

Tsitsipas tells Greek press that he would prefer Thiem as an opponent tomorrow. And that he would be ready to play even today.

November 15, 2019

Do check out Kevin Mitchell’s report on Rafael Nadal’s brilliant victory over Tsitsipas today. He will be the world’s biggest Daniil Medvedev fan today.

Here are the highlights from Medvedev’s comprehensive win over Zverev. He turned the tables on Zverev this year, but for how long?

Zverev leads the head to head 4-1, but Medvedev won their most recent meeting in the final.This will always be an interesting match-up given the contrasting routes of their young careers. Zverev broke through much earlier than Medvedev and has long since established himself as a future star, whereas Medvedev has been the revelation of the year. Their two diverging career routes reflect the fact that every player has their own path and they find their way in their own time.

Updated

Zverev had some fighting words when looking ahead to his match against Medvedev…

Q. Do you think when you play Daniil on Friday he’ll be more tougher to beat because he’s got nothing to lose?


ALEXANDER ZVEREV: Is he out? He’s out, right? No, he’s not out. He’s not out. If he wins in two…

So there you go. He still has something to play for, I guess. He’s not going to win in two, though. (Laughter.)

Preamble

Hello!Welcome to our coverage of the final group match of the ATP finals where Alexander Zverev will be looking to reach the semi-finals when he faces Daniil Medvedev in the O2 Arena.

The scenario here is very simple: If Zverev wins, he advances from the group in second place and will face Dominic Thiem tomorrow. Medvedev is out, but if he wins thenRafael Nadalwill qualify.

This is a particularly strange situation because it’s so rare for tennis players to play with nothing on the line. It is really anybody’s guess how Medvedev will react to the situation. Will he care at all now that he can’t qualify? Will he be determined to finish his first ATP Finals with a win? Will he play like he has nothing to lose in the rare instance where it’s actually true? Who knows. We’ll soon find out.

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