Medvedev victorious in Shanghai as injured Nadal confirmed to return to world number one

Daniil Medvedev proved once again that he is the ATP Tour’s in-form player, as he claimed glory at the Shanghai Masters on Sunday. Alex Grant reports.

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World number four Daniil Medvedev continued his impressive run of results last week as he raced through the field to claim his second consecutive ATP Masters 1000 title with a straightforward 6-4 6-1 win against fellow next-gen star Alexander (Sascha) Zverev.

Medvedev was ruthless as he raced through the match saving five of the six break points he faced to beat the German with just 73 minutes on the clock. The 23-year-old Russian has now won 29 of his last 32 matches on the ATP tour including a maiden Masters success in Cincinnati at the end of August, followed by a first ever grand slam final appearance at the US Open in September, where he lost in just under five hours to Rafael Nadal.

Speaking after the match the champion was keen to express his joy, commenting:

“This one is also amazing because Shanghai I think is one of the most prestigious Masters (1000 tournaments) on the Tour,” Medvedev said. “Especially in the past 10 years, there were only three players who managed to win this one, so it’s really special to have my photo in the corridor over the next many years.”

Medvedev’s victory breaks a nine-year streak; in which time only Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have claimed success at the tournament. The only other player outside of those three to win in Shanghai was Medvedev’s fellow Russian and now retired pro Nikolay Davydenko who claimed victory at the inaugural edition of the event back in 2009.

“Everybody is talking that they need new guys, something new,” Medvedev said. “So I gave them something new. I don’t celebrate my wins. I just stay calm. I do my job. Boom, done.”

The Russian now joins Zverev as the only active player outside of tennis’ big four (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray) to win multiple Masters 1000 events in the same season. The 23-year-old has now won each of the last 18 sets that he has played, dating back to his defeat at the hands of Nadal at the US Open. It is also the fourth time in his young career that he has won an ATP main draw event without dropping a set.

Elsewhere it was a bad week for top seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as both fell at the quarter-final stage to next-gen stars with Djokovic succumbing to defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas whilst Federer lost to eventual runner-up Sascha Zverev.

Victory for Tsitsipas secured the Greek’s place as the sixth man to qualify for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals to be held at London’s O2 Arena in November whilst Zverev’s run to the final helped the German up to seventh meaning he now leads the race for the final two spots.

Defeat for world number one Novak Djokovic meanwhile came at a high price as the points he loses from having won in Shanghai last year, combined with those set to drop off his ranking ahead of the final two events of the season (Paris Masters and Nitto ATP Finals), mean that on November 4, Rafael Nadal will return to the summit of men’s tennis once again.

On that day Djokovic will see a combined total of 1600 points drop off his ATP ranking whilst Nadal, who missed the last part of the 2018 season through injury, will have zero points come off. As a result, Nadal, currently out nursing an inflammation of his left wrist, will return to the world number one spot. The Spaniard will now hope to get himself fit for the final weeks of the season in the hopes of solidifying his return to top spot and capture in the process a fifth year-end number one berth.

 

 

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