Medvedev’s style of play in Paris was unspectacular – and not “wild”, as Zverev later put it.
But what he did well was slashing away relentlessly with shallow, eerily accurate punches, punctuated by sudden accelerations of speed and whipped, hissing foreheads that just seem to land. Zverev, like many others before him, soon became angry and the momentum shifted quickly.
“I’m really trying to drive my opponent crazy,” said Medvedev with an ironic smile in his post-game interview.
It was only his second win against the fourth Zverev in seven games. His earlier win against the imposing German was also in a Masters final in Shanghai last year.
“I think it’s not easy for guys to play me when I play like that,” said Medvedev.
“Of course it’s hard to compare to the final in Shanghai, where I was at the top for the whole game. It was a very close game here and both could be the winners. ”
It was Medvedev’s first final and title of the year, while Zverev was playing in his third consecutive final after winning two consecutive tournaments in Cologne.
The competition between the first-time finalists here and the last two runners-up at the US Open ran at a premium – and without interruption points – until Zverev Medvedev broke in the 12th game to get the opening set.
When Medvedev hit a long forehand at this point, Zverev let out a loud roar that pierced the silence in a Bercy arena left empty by the coronavirus pandemic.
“After the first sentence, I didn’t really know what to do because I didn’t have any stops,” said Medvedev. “I didn’t feel good to return my serve.”
Medvedev’s machine-like accuracy to the baseline resulted in a loose shot from Zverev in the ninth game of the second set when it hit long from the back of the pitch. Medvedev’s punctual return is one of the best on the ATP tour and affected Zverev’s self-confidence as he only won 57 percent of the points on the first serve, compared to 75 percent for Medvedev.
Medvedev took the second set with his 13th ace and then took control when Zverev slid a weak forehand into the net and was broken in love. After Zverev missed four break point chances in the next game, he was punished when Medvedev took a 3-0 lead.
“I was tired by the end of the second sentence. I was dead. The third set was always very difficult for me, “said Zverev. “As soon as you get a little tired of him, he wears you down. He wears you down even more. He makes you run, he makes you move. ”
Medvedev took victory on his second match point when Zverev made a double fault for the third time in this match.
They could meet again at the end of the season ATP finals in London from November 15-22.
“I am satisfied with my tennis,” said Zverev. “I may just have to recover a little.”
Last year in London, Medvedev led Rafael Nadal 5-1 in the last set, with the Russian having a match point. But a breakdown in the third set ended in an excruciating defeat that taught him a lot.
“I knew I had to leave it behind. Just learn from it and learn how you shouldn’t go crazy if you got up 5-1 and even lost your serve 5-2. ”Medvedev, 24, said.
“I worked on my mental strength for a long time.”
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