Medvedev 'Crushing It', Breaks Down Fognini In Shanghai

Russian now looks to extend perfect record against Tsitsipas

Daniil Medvedev improved to 12-0 in quarter-finals this year at the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Friday. The third-seeded Russian played with great consistency, but experienced second-set resistance from Nitto ATP Finals contender Fabio Fognini, the No. 10 seed from Italy, before coming through 6-3, 7-6(4) in 86 minutes.

When asked about his form, Medvedev said, “I worry in a good way, that I know I need to keep focus. I know I need to keep working hard every day in order not to lose this level... I was serving probably the best match of the season. I mean, my serve today, I don't know what happened. I was just crushing it.”

Medvedev, who is now one win from reaching his sixth straight final, has posted a 27-3 match record since July. He has an ATP Tour-leading 57 match wins in 2019. On Saturday, the 23-year-old Muscovite will face sixth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who recorded the biggest win of his career over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, for a place in the ATP Masters 1000 final. The Russian is 4-0 against Tsitsipas in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

“Even though I won all of the matches against Stefanos, they were all really tight," said Medvedev. "He's improving also every week. He's still so young. I mean, he has, let's say, two years of more improving than me, talking about age.”

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Pressure began to increase on Fognini, when he hit his second double fault to be broken to love and hand Medvedev a 4-2 lead, during a run of nine straight points for the Russian. Medvedev served superbly in the 23-minute opener.

Medvedev's weight of shot from the baseline kept Fognini on the move, but the Italian saved three break points — at 1-2, 2-3, and 4-5 — in the second set. After Fognini took a 3-2 lead, his left thigh was taped up at the changeover and he started to compete better, showing greater willingness to move up the court.

Fognini took a 2/0 lead in the tie-break, but Medvedev recovered and with a 4/3 advantage forced a forehand error. At 5/4, Medvedev served and volleyed off a second serve. The tactic proved to be decisive. Fourteen of Medvedev's 23 winners came off his serve.

Fognini is currently in 11th position in the 2019 ATP Race To London (on 2,235 points) and attempting to qualify for the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, for the first time.

The 32-year-old, who has a 28-20 match record on the season that includes his first Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, is 200 points behind eighth-placed German Alexander Zverev (2,435). Two singles berths are left up for grabs.

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