Alexander Zverev earned his first Top 10 win of the season and snapped a three-match losing streak against Daniil Medvedev on Thursday when he moved past his long-running rival to reach the quarter-finals at the Western & Southern Open.
In windy conditions, the German found consistency in the key moments and showed great desire. He saved both break points he faced at 4-4 in the final set, before he broke Medvedev’s serve in the next game to defeat the World No. 3 Medvedev 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes. Zverev has now won his past eight matches in Cincinnati, having triumphed at the hard-court tournament in his previous appearance in 2021.
"It was very difficult conditions against a very difficult opponent," Zverev said. "He gives you nothing and you have to win the match yourself and that is what I did today and I am pleased with that.
"I tried to be patient and you just have to take your chances, your opportunities. You are not going to get many because we were both serving quite well. I lost three very tight matches earlier this year, so I am pleased to have finally won one today."
The 16th seed lost his three previous 2023 meetings against the World No. 3 in Indian Wells, Monte-Carlo and Miami. However, the 26-year-old would not be denied again, striking 36 winners to improve to 7-9 their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.
In windy conditions, Zverev looked to dictate. While he committed 49 errors to 25 from Medvedev, the German struck 26 more winners (36-13), with his proactive style earning him the decisive break of the match in the third set.
The two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion, whose previous Top 10 win came against Carlos Alcaraz at Roland Garros in 2022, is 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he seeks a sixth appearance at the prestigious season finale. Zverev can overtake current eighth-placed Casper Ruud (2,580 points) if he reaches the semi-finals.
The 2019 Cincinnati champion Medvedev holds a 32-5 record on hard courts in 2023. Alongside Zverev, only Novak Djokovic, Sebastian Korda, Carlos Alcaraz and Alex de Minaur have beaten Medvedev on hard this year.