Daniil Medvedev will be hope to for a last gasp qualification as he faces Alexander Zverev in the final rubber on Friday night. Zverev just needs a win to qualify for the semi-finals but can still advance with a three set loss as long as Rafael Nadal also loses. Meanwhile, Medvedev must win in straight sets and hope that Tsitsipas also beats Nadal. The Russian is 1-4 against Zverev in the head to head but will hope that he can repeat his dominant win in Shanghai from a few weeks back.
Zverev was outstanding in his victory over Rafael Nadal but it was a much tougher time against Stefanos Tsitsipas, as the German fell in straight sets 6-3 6-2. He had served strongly in his opener but his second serve was punished throughout this one by the in-form Greek. “He played a fantastic match, I thought. I played really bad,” Zverev said. “At this level, this is how it goes when somebody plays great and you don’t play your best. It can go this way, especially against him who I think this surface, these conditions fit him quite well.”
Medvedev will have been looking to win this one to qualify automatically but an astonishing collapse in the third set against Rafael Nadal in his second match means he needs a miracle. He held match point and was also a double break up in the decider before losing 7-6 3-6 6-7. The usually mentally strong Medvedev wilted under the pressure but has a lot to take heart from this past year. His run of finals was extremely impressive and he has to be considered the best of the rest when it comes to best of five format right now.
“I played much better… Still was far from what I want, but I played much better, I still have one match to go. Not sure if it’s going to mean anything in terms of going to semis, but just going to try to play even better.” Medvedev said afterwards. His fate will be known going into Friday evening so this could impact the match but for Zverev, extending the head to head record further in his favour is all that is needed. If he can serve like he did in his opener, he should see this one through without too much trouble.
Prediction – Alexander Zverev in three sets