Read & Watch: Zverev Moves Into Shanghai Semi-finals, Qualifies For Nitto ATP Finals
Young German becomes fifth player to clinch a place at the London season finale
Alexander Zverev, who continues his bid for a fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy, booked his place in the Rolex Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday after he overcame No. 11 seed Kyle Edmund of Great Britain 6-4, 6-4 in 71 minutes.
The victory also guaranteed the German’s place for a second consecutive year at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer have already booked their spots at the prestigious season finale. Buy Your London Tickets
Zverev recorded an ATP World Tour-leading 49th match win of the year — breaking a tie with Dominic Thiem (48) — and improved to 4-0 against Edmund in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. He will now prepare for a semi-final clash on Saturday against second-seeded Serbian and two-time former champion Novak Djokovic, who knocked out seventh seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
When asked about becoming the 2018 match wins leader, Zverev said, “It’s a great honour, because we have so many great players playing throughout the whole year, and obviously me winning the most matches means a lot to me… Obviously, I don't want to stop here. There is still a lot more tennis going on until the end of the year.
“Novak winning the last two Grand Slams, he’s probably, on paper, is the best player right now in the world,” said Zverev. “It's going to be a very interesting match.”
Edmund played aggressively throughout, but two forehand errors in the first game gifted Zverev an immediate service break en route to the 34-minute opener. Zverev broke Edmund to love for a 3-2 lead in the second set, when Edmund over-hit a forehand after a long baseline rally. He completed victory with a smash winner – his 23rd of the match.
Zverev picked up his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in May at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Thiem), becoming the first player to win a clay-court title without being broken since the ATP started keeping stats in 1991. He also successfully retained titles at both the BMW Open by FWU in Munich (d. Kohlschreiber) and the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (d. de Minaur). Additionally, he finished runner-up in two Masters 1000 finals, the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Isner) and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome (l. to Nadal).