Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Nadal back on top as Tsitsipas dethrones Djokovic in Shanghai

Shanghai Masters: Novak Djokovic beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in quarter-finals Nadal back on top as Tsitsipas dethrones Djokovic in Shanghai
Cary Erickson | 12 October, 2019, 23:20

So, Tsitsipas and Zverev join the two straight-set victors, Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini, in the semi-finals to complete a quartet of "next-gen" players remaining in the draw, with Saturday's semi-finals getting underway at 930 United Kingdom time.

An inspired Stefanos Tsitsipas came from a set down to end Novak Djokovic's reign as Shanghai Masters champion and reach the semi-finals after qualifying for the ATP Finals.

My perception is that the market is more accurate in the second semi-final between Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev.

Daniil Medvedev's 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory over Fabio Fognini sealed Tsitsipas' spot in the season-ending tournament in London for the first time and the 21-year-old capped a memorable Friday by beating Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Despite having a tough 2019 in general, Zverev's hard court numbers this year are still better than Berrettini's (105% combined service/return points won to 103%) and this illustrates that there is no value at the current market prices.

The 21-year-old Tsitsipas said: "I don't know if I'm going to be able to beat him the next time or the time after that one, but I know there's going to be a time where I'm going to find opportunities and beat him".

"I didn't make him defend enough".

There was nothing in it as they entered the first-set tie break after 43 minutes of high-quality tennis.

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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.

The Greek star was broken in the third game of the second set and while he fought back to level at 5-5, he could not follow up with a hold as Medvedev immediately struck back. "I didn't feel bad", Tsitsipas said.

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

"I thought he took really a lot of good decisions, and he was super fast on his feet today, which I think made it really hard for me to get my freebies and winners off the baseline".

Alexander Zverev of Germany in action against Roger Federer of Switzerland. Medvedev in particular has won more matches than anybody, and reached his first Grand Slam final at the US Open, requiring Rafael Nadal to take the decider before eventually putting him down.

Together with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic has been the greatest Masters 1000 player, lifting 33 titles and those 350 victories that will probably stay untouched for all the upcoming youngsters and established competitors.

"He's different this year than previous years", said a wary Zverev.

"He's definitely playing the best tennis of his life".