Medvedev Masters Shanghai, Beats Zverev For Title
Russian captures back-to-back Masters 1000 trophies
The 23-year-old overcame Zverev 6-4, 6-1 to notch his first victory in five FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against the German after 73 minutes. Medvedev saved five of six break points to record his 29th victory from 32 encounters since arriving at the Citi Open in July.
"This one is also amazing because Shanghai I think is one of the most prestigious Masters [1000 tournaments] on the Tour," Medvedev said. "Especially in the past 10 years, there were only three players who managed to win this one, so it’s really special to have my photo in the corridor over the next many years."
The US Open runner-up, who has reached the championship match in each of his six most recent events, improves to 59-17 at tour-level in 2019. The Russian owns a Tour-leading 46 hard-court wins and 22 Masters 1000 victories this year.
"Everybody is talking that they need new guys, something new, so I gave them something new," Medvedev said. "I don’t celebrate my wins. I just stay calm, I do my job. Boom, done."
A Closer Look: Medvedev’s Finals Streak
|Washington, D.C.||l. to Kyrgios 6-7(6), 6-7(4)|
|Montreal||l. to Nadal 3-6, 0-6|
|Cincinnati||d. Goffin 7-6(3), 6-4|
|US Open||l. to Nadal 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 4-6|
|St. Petersburg||d. Coric 6-3, 6-1|
|Shanghai||d. Zverev 6-4, 6-1|
Medvedev joins Zverev as only the second player outside the Big Four to win multiple Masters 1000 trophies in a single season since David Nalbandian in 2007. The World No. 4 is the second Russian to win this Masters 1000 tournament. Nikolay Davydenko triumphed at the inaugural edition of this event in 2009.
Since falling to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final, Medvedev has won each of the 18 sets he has contested. This is the fourth time Medvedev has lifted an ATP Tour trophy without dropping a set in main draw action.
"I would not believe it," said Medvedev of if someone foreshadowed this run to him a few months ago. "It’s something outrageous that I’ve done in the past few months and I have been working for it. But it is how it is, I just take it and I hope I’m going to do much more."
The Russian moves ahead of Roger Federer in the ATP Race To London after picking up 400 points for his final victory. Medvedev owns 5,875 points, giving the seven-time tour-level titlist a 185 point lead over the Swiss (5,690).
Medvedev made a fast start under the Center Court roof, soaking up the pressure and attacking Zverev’s forehand en route to a 3-0 advantage. The German responded well to break serve and level the set at 3-3, stepping in on his backhand side as Medvedev began to misfire from the baseline. But Medvedev regained his break advantage at a crucial stage, as Zverev committed back-to-back double faults at 4-5, 30/30 to hand the set to the World No. 4.
From that point, Medvedev raced towards the trophy. The Russian claimed the opening five games of the second set, frustrating Zverev from the back of the court and finding winners when the 22-year-old attempted to shorten points by coming forward. Medvedev clinched the title on his first championship point with his fourth ace of the match.
"I think I just became a better player than I was when I played him four times before. For example, it was same against [Borna] Coric. Before the final in St. Petersburg, I was quite nervous because I lost four matches... against Coric, and the score was 6-3, 6-1. Here it's 6-4, 6-1," Medvedev said. "I think I became a better player than I was even in the beginning of the year, and that's why some of these results can change like this."
Zverev was aiming to capture his fourth Masters 1000 trophy in his sixth final at this level. With 2,855 points in the ATP Race To London, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion is in pole position to become the seventh player to book his spot at The O2 in London.
"He's a different player now. You can't compare," Zverev said of Medvedev. "I feel like I'm playing well. I feel like I'm on a very good path again. But obviously I have to be on this path for a longer period of time, I think. But making the final of a Masters  is huge for me right now, and I'm very happy about that."