TURIN, Italy (AFP) — Daniil Medvedev booked his place in the Last Four of the ATP Finals on Wednesday after beating Alexander Zverev 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, while Carlos Alcaraz cruised past troubled Andrey Rublev to get his campaign up and running.
World No. 3 Medvedev had to win in straight sets to claim a spot in the semifinals in Turin with a match to spare and he saw off big-hitting German Zverev in a stodgy Red Group encounter.
He faces Carlos Alcaraz, a 7-5, 6-2 winner earlier in the day, in his final match and has the world No. 2’s Last Four hopes in his hands.
“I hope that I feel well tomorrow and ready to fight because this tournament is tricky,” Medvedev said.
“I’m into the semis but you want to keep the rhythm and against Carlos. If we play at night you don’t want to finish 7-6 in the third (set) at midnight. I just hope I can show my best tennis.”
Medvedev has a long-running rivalry with Zverev, the pair not getting on off-court, and he has now prevailed in five of their six matches this season.
One of those wins came on his way to his surprise triumph at the clay-court Italian Open back in May, one of five titles won by Medvedev this year.
The 2020 champion looks in fine form despite Wednesday’s match being his 82nd this year and will cause serious trouble to whoever he faces in the next round.
Zverev, a two-time winner at the season-ending tournament, would have qualified from the Red Group with a win of either sort following Alcaraz’s earlier victory.