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Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Daniil Medvedev are the Rolex Shanghai Masters semi-finalists.

Medvedev, Tsitsipas Lead Fresh Charge In Shanghai

First time in 20 years all Masters 1000 semi-finalists are under 24

Novak Djokovic (8-0) and Roger Federer (5-0) were a combined 13-0 in Rolex Shanghai Masters quarter-finals before Friday. But that was before the ATP Tour's youth movement, led by 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas (d. Djokovic) and Germany's Alexander Zverev (d. Federer), took over the season's penultimate ATP Masters 1000 event.

Matteo Berrettini of Italy and Daniil Medvedev of Russia also did their part, beating No. 5 Dominic Thiem and No. 12 Fabio Fognini, respectively.

All four Shanghai semi-finalists are under the age of 24 for the first time at a Masters 1000 event since 20 years ago at 1999 Hamburg. The Big Three of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Federer – the top three players in the ATP Rankings – still dominate the Tour. But Shanghai shows once more that the gap between three of the best of all-time and the next wave continues to shrink.

<a href='https://www.atptour.com/en/players/stefanos-tsitsipas/te51/overview'>Stefanos Tsitsipas</a> reacts in Shanghai 2019

“They're knocking on the door big time... It's exciting. They're great. It's really open now, I think, for the finish of this tournament,” said Federer, who fell to Zverev for the fourth time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (3-4).

“It was definitely surprising to see Novak lose a little bit, even though Tsitsipas has played great so far. Maybe I was still the favourite going into this match, but Sascha came out and had no serving issues today and really was able to produce a great game like he did against me already [at the Nitto ATP Finals].

“It's an exciting time in tennis.”

Then Vs. Now: Comparing Masters 1000 Semi-finalists

Shanghai 2019 Semi-finalist

Age

Hamburg 1999 Semi-finalist

Age

Stefanos Tsitsipas

21

Mariano Zabaleta

21

Alexander Zverev

22

Carlos Moya

22

Matteo Berrettini

23

Nicolas Lapentti

22

Daniil Medvedev

23

Marcelo Rios

23

The wins of Tsitsipas, Zverev, Berrettini and Medvedev were impressive. But what's more noteworthy is how far all they've come in the past 12 months.

Last year in Shanghai, Tsitsipas fell in the third round, and two years ago he had to qualify. But on Friday, he stunned Djokovic for the second time at a Masters 1000 event (Toronto 2018) and will face Russian Daniil Medvedev for a place in the final.

“It's the best comeback that I have ever had probably,” said Tsitsipas, who also ranked highly his comeback against Federer at the Australian Open.

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Medvedev beat Italian Fabio Fognini to improve to 12-0 in tour-level quarter-finals this season. The Russian has been playing better than anyone since July.

Medvedev, who finished in third place at the inaugural 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, is trying to reach his sixth consecutive final after making title matches in Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati, the US Open and in St. Petersburg.

Twelve months ago, he was ranked outside the Top 20 when he fell to Federer in the second round of Shanghai. But the 23-year-old right-hander is into his third consecutive Masters 1000 semi-final and has already guaranteed his place at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 10-17 November at The O2 in London.

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“I know I need to keep focus. I know I need to keep working every day hard in order not to lose this level,” said Medvedev, who is 4-0 against Tsitsipas.

Berrettini's rise has been the most drastic of the four semi-finalists. On 14 April, he lost his fifth consecutive match. But he has since gone 33-9, reaching his maiden Grand Slam semi-final (US Open, l. to Nadal) and Masters 1000 semi-final (Shanghai) along the way.

Berrettini lost in the Shanghai qualifying one year ago and was 3-8 at Masters 1000 events before winning four matches this week.

Zverev

Only Zverev, the 22-year-old reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, has been there, done that in Shanghai. The three-time Masters 1000 titlist made the semi-finals last year before falling to eventual champion Djokovic.

His experience showed against Federer as the German stayed focussed despite seeing five match points come and go in the second set.

“It was a match to maybe turn my year around a little bit, and the [ATP] Race To London is also very important,” said Zverev, who is now in seventh place in the Race. “I'm happy to be in the semi-finals now and give myself the best chance to win maybe two more matches here.”

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