US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev continued his dominant streak in the ongoing 2019 season as he advanced to his sixth straight tour-level final after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(5), 7-5 in Shanghai Masters on Saturday. Enhancing his fast-growing reputation as the ‘most complete player’ on the tour, Medvedev saved four of five break points in the one-hour 36-minute clash to reach his ninth ATP Tour-leading final of the season. Courtesy his another brilliant show, the lanky Russian also extended his head-to-head lead against the Greek to 5-0.
In the other semifinal, another next-gen star – Alexander Zverev registered a comprehensive win over Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-4 to book a place in the final showdown on Sunday. This is going to be Zverev’s first outing in the Shanghai final. With this, the German has also bolstered his chances to qualify for the season-ending ATP finals by claiming the eighth place in the list. The 22-year-old now has 2855 points in the race, putting him 330 points ahead of eighth-placed Berrettini (2525) and 370 points in front of ninth-placed Roberto Bautista Agut (2485).
“It feels great, obviously. I felt like I’ve played some decent tennis this week and being in a Masters 1000 final here in Shanghai is also something very special for me,” said Zverev, who will face in-form Russian Medvedev for the title. “I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I can play some good tennis tomorrow.”
Despite Medvedev’s incredible record this season, Zverev will start as the favourite in the final at Shanghai on basis of the better head-to-head record. The German leads 4-0 in his showdown with Medvedev, although their most recent meeting came more than a year ago, in Toronto last year.
Meanwhile, Medvedev is only the seventh man since 2000 to reach nine or more tour-level finals in a single season. The 6’6″ Russian joins the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Marat Safin on the exclusive list of players to achieve the feat.
“Making six [finals] in a row, including three Masters 1000’s and one Grand Slam, is something I could never dream of, to be honest,” said Medvedev after the match. “But I want to keep the momentum going and hope I can make it to seven or eight.”
With Federer and world number one Djokovic ousted in the quarterfinals, the next generation of men’s tennis stars has made its mark in China.