Shanghai Masters: Medvedev Reaches Sixth Final

Daniil Medvedev of Russia hits a return against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their men’s singles semi-final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 12, 2019. HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

 

Daniil Medvedev reached a staggering sixth final in a row as he defeated fellow rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Shanghai Masters on Saturday.

The US Open finalist from Russia plays Alexander Zverev of Germany or Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s decider as the next generation takes centre stage in China.

The 23-year-old Medvedev, who has lifted three titles in a breakthrough 2019, beat Greece’s Tsitsipas 7-6 (7/5), 7-5.

Medvedev has now seen off the 21-year-old — who defeated world number one Novak Djokovic on Friday — in all five of their matches.

“It’s something I could never have dreamed of,” the world number four said of his sixth final on the trot.

“I want to keep the momentum going and hopefully make it to seven or eight.”

The history was with Medvedev but there was nothing in it as he and Tsitsipas 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 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 the court in a rage, before Medvedev sealed the semi-final win in the 12th game of the second set.

“Same vibes, same thing all over again,” said Tsitsipas of yet another defeat to the Russian.

“I don’t mean to be rude at all, but it’s just boring.

“It’s so boring that I hate myself for putting myself into that kind of situation where I have to play in his own terms and not in my terms.”

AFP

Djokovic Wins Shanghai To Close On World Number One

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic holds the trophy after winning his men’s final singles match against Croatia’s Borna Coric at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 14, 2018.
PHOTO: WANG ZHAO / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic is within touching distance of Rafael Nadal’s number one ranking after winning the Shanghai Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Borna Coric on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Croatian Coric had his right thigh heavily strapped and had been suffering a stiff neck for what was the biggest match of his young career.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic broke the 19th-ranked Coric — a good friend and sometime-training partner — in the sixth game of the first set on the way to another no-nonsense victory.

The end was anti-climactic, with the Serb winning the championship point after a video review, Coric having challenged the call.

Djokovic buried his head in his hand at the absurdity of it.

The 31-year-old will leapfrog Roger Federer into second in the world when the rankings are released on Monday and is in imperious form as the season reaches its climax.

Red-hot Djokovic has now been victorious in 18 ATP matches in a row and in recent months won Wimbledon, the Cincinnati Masters, the US Open and now Shanghai.

The last four months had been “fantastic” and “tremendous”, he said.

“I’m cherishing every moment of it,” he told the crowd, calling Shanghai “a special place” to him.

“I could not ask for a better scenario,” Djokovic said of his late surge to the summit of men’s tennis.

“I am very close now to Nadal in the rankings and put myself in a good position for the last period of the year.”

Coric said that he had no complaints about losing to “one of the best in the history of tennis”.

This was a fourth Shanghai crown for Djokovic and he is homing in on a return to number one, having fallen as low as 22nd in May as he struggled following elbow surgery in February.

He also missed the second half of 2017 with elbow and off-court issues.

Coric, the 13th seed, was chasing only the third title of his career and defeated top seed Federer in the semi-finals to underline his rich promise.

He also dispensed of three-time Grand Slam winner and Federer’s fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in his opening match.

Coric had the extensive thigh strapping changed for the second set, but he was immediately broken when he somehow sent a routine volley out.

He had his first sniff of an opportunity with a break point in the sixth game of the second set, but second seed Djokovic survived when Coric again fired wide.

It is nearly two years since Djokovic topped the rankings and he has made it his mission to topple the injured Nadal before the year is out.

AFP

Federer Fires To Join Djokovic In Shanghai Semis

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men’s singles quarter-final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament on October 12, 2018. Johannes EISELE / AFP

 

Roger Federer blazed into the Shanghai Masters semi-finals with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Kei Nishikori as the Swiss great’s title defence belatedly caught fire on Friday.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion and top seed will meet 13th seed Borna Coric on Saturday after the Croatian defeated unseeded Australian Matthew Ebden 7-5, 6-4.

The other semi-final tees up Novak Djokovic against young German star Alexander Zverev, just the second time they will have met.

The 37-year-old Federer was forced to battle through the first two matches of his title defence, first to Daniil Medvedev and then Roberto Bautista Agut.

But he put Nishikori under the cosh immediately, breaking the eighth seed in the first game of both sets, though the Japanese did well to recover and force a second-set tie-break.

Federer had to play catch-up in the tie-break and said afterward that he was relieved to avoid another three-setter.

“I saw Kei was playing extremely aggressive, especially towards the end of the second set,” said the Swiss world number two, who has been content with his form this week despite being pushed to three sets in his other two matches.

“I knew I had to step it up too, and I was able to do it, so it’s a good feeling to have, no doubt about it.”

 Djokovic wary of Zverev 

Djokovic said that he was relishing facing “top player” Zverev after the 14-time Grand Slam champion beat Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7/1), 6-3.

Djokovic saved set point in the opener before taking control of the tie-break and the second set to dump out the South African seventh seed.

The 31-year-old from Serbia is in blistering form, winning Wimbledon, the Cincinnati Masters and US Open in recent months, after having elbow surgery in February.

The second seed is desperate to grab injured Rafael Nadal’s year-end number one ranking.

Djokovic and Zverev met on clay in the final of the Rome Masters in May last year, the 21-year-old German winning 6-4, 6-3.

Djokovic, who endured a turbulent last season with an injury and off-court issues, said they were “both different players” now.

“I wasn’t — I feel like — playing as well as I’m playing today,” he warned.

“But also he has improved a lot and he has established himself as a top player.

“It’s going to be definitely a close match.”

Touted as a potential future multiple Grand Slam winner, fourth seed Zverev eased past Kyle Edmund to reach his first Shanghai semi-final.

The 6-4, 6-4 victory over the 11th-seeded Briton seals Zverev’s place in the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month, which bring together the top eight men.

The top four players in the world — Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro — had already qualified for London. Zverev is ranked fifth.

Zverev, now under the tutelage of Ivan Lendl, said he is pleased with his overall progress, even if a maiden Grand Slam remains elusive.

“I think every year you feel more mature. Every year you spend on tour, you feel kind of different,” he said.

“Last year was the first time I kind of broke through to the top 10 and was a top-five player.

“It’s always easier to get there — but then staying there is always the tougher part.”

AFP

Federer Beats Great Rival Nadal To Win Shanghai Masters

Winner Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) and second-placed Rafael Nadal of Spain hold their trophies after the men’s singles final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 15, 2017. Chandan KHANNA / AFP

Roger Federer got one over his old rival Rafael Nadal to win the Shanghai Masters 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday in a showdown between the two best players on the planet.

It was a 94th title for the Swiss legend, drawing him level with the great Ivan Lendl, and closes the gap on world number one Nadal at the top of the rankings as the season reaches its conclusion.

In-form Nadal was ahead in their overall record down the years, with 23 wins to Federer’s 14, but he was up against it almost right away.

Number two Federer put Nadal under the cosh immediately on the Spaniard’s serve, breaking him in the first game — to roars of approval from the majority inside the arena.

The 36-year-old Swiss, fondly known as “Cow” in China for his laid-back personality, had started the better and he rattled through his own service game for 2-0.

Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam champion who had beaten Nadal in their last four encounters, was in full flow under the Qizhong Tennis Center roof, which was closed because of downpours in Shanghai.

Nadal, 31, groaned while lashing many of his shots; Federer was all quiet efficiency.

Somewhere in the stadium somebody rattled a cow bell.

Federer rapidly made it 4-2 with two booming aces in a row, drawing huge cheers from much of the stadium.

In contrast, Nadal — a 16-time Grand Slam winner but who had never won the Shanghai Masters — was labouring through his service games.

He went long on a straightforward forehand but powered an ace to make it 4-3 to the Swiss.

There were suggestions that Federer might not be quite as fresh as his old foe, having been pushed to three sets a day earlier in the second semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro.

The timeless Federer rubbished that notion as he seared his way to a 5-3 first-set lead.

Nadal sent down his fourth ace for 5-4, only for Federer to seal the set with his seventh ace of the match.

There was little between the great rivals in the early exchanges of the second set until the pivotal fifth game.

Nadal, on a great run of form that won him the US Open and China Open in recent weeks, saved the first break point but could not survive the second one to put Federer in reach of a second Shanghai Masters crown.

AFP

Djokovic Wins Shanghai Masters

DjokovicNovak Djokovic continued his dominance of men’s tennis by winning the Shanghai Masters title on Sunday in straight sets.

It proved all too easy once again for the Serbian brushing aside Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1 6-4 to claim his third Shanghai Masters and ninth title of the year.

Tsonga had shown his serving prowess in taking out Rafael Nadal in three tight sets in the semi-finals but against the imperious returning skills of Djokovic, he had no answers.

It was a second straight tournament Djokovic had won without dropping a set after he landed his sixth China Open title in Beijing last week.

Tsonga Faces Djokovic In Shanghai Masters Final

tsongaJo-Wilfried Tsonga has recorded a first win over Rafael Nadal in almost four years, after producing some scintillating tennis to beat the Spaniard in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters to Face Novak Djokovic.

The Frenchman triumphed 6-4 0-6 7-5 to reach his first Masters final since he triumphed in Toronto last year.

The 30-year-old fired down 11 aces to record his first win over Nadal since the 2011 ATP World Tour finals.

Nadal, a winner of 14 Grand Slam singles titles, struggled to cope with Tsonga in the opening set as the Frenchman pressured the Spaniard’s serve with some heavy hitting.

The victory gives a major boost to his flagging hopes of qualifying again for the end of season Championships in London.

However, Novak Djokovic produced an imperious performance to cruise to a 6-1 6-3 victory over Andy Murray.

British number one, Murray, was brushed aside in the first set by the Serbian as he won just one service game.

The 28-year-old Scot showed some fight in the second set, but never really threatened as Djokovic served out.