Daniil Medvedev reached a staggering ninth final this year as he defeated fellow rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Shanghai Masters here on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Medvedev, who has lifted three titles in a breakthrough 2019, beat Greece’s Tsitsipas 7-6(5), 7-5. In the other semifinal, Germany’s Zverev eased past Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-3, 6-4. Medvedev has now seen off the 21-year-old — who defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Friday — in all five of their matches.
There was nothing in it as they entered the first-set tie break after 43 minutes of high-quality tennis. Seventh-ranked Tsitsipas blinked first, gifting set-point when he shanked a forehand and then doing the same moments later to put the fourth-ranked Russian a set up.
Medvedev broke the Greek — who repeatedly tried to gee up the crowd — in the third game of the second set. The Russian served for the match at 5-4, only for Tsitsipas to dig in and break for 5-5, before Medvedev did likewise.
Tsitsipas smacked the ball out of the court in a rage, before Medvedev sealed the match in the 12th game of the second set.
Sixth-ranked Zverev, long touted as the man most likely to join the ‘Big Three’ of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, has had a disappointing year, winning only one title.
But the German defeated 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer on Friday and took that momentum into his last-four clash with the 23-year-old Berrettini.
The Italian, 13th in the world, put up a better fight in the second set but was broken in the ninth game as his hopes of an upset faded.
Zverev said the victory over Federer had given him a major confidence boost. But he said past meetings with Medvedev stood for nothing because the Russian has improved markedly since their last match, in 2018.