The Unstoppable Russian! Daniil Medvedev Wins the Shanghai Masters 1000


Daniil Medvedev is on quite a roll. The Russian sensation defeated another NextGen superstar Alexander Zverev 6:4, 6:1, thus winning his fourth title of the season.

Medvedev won the second Masters 1000 tournament in his career, only a couple of weeks after winning his first one in Cincinnati.

It was the fifth meeting between the pair. Alexander Zverev led head-to-head 4:0 against Daniil Medvedev. However, it must be said that they faced each other earlier on in their careers – in 2018, 2017, and 2016. This was their first meeting in 2019, and, as you probably know, this has been the breakthrough year for Medvedev, where he has really put himself on the tennis map.  

In the first set, Medvedev raced into the 3:0 lead. At that point, we thought that this is going to get wrapped up real soon, but Zverev fought back. At 3:1 for Medvedev in the first set, the German had three break points at 0-40, but Daniil saved all three. The Russian was in a similar position in the match against Tsitsipas, where he managed to save the break. 

However, Zverev did come through and then managed to hold his own serve, making it three-all. At 5:4, Zverev was serving to stay in the set, but at 30-all, he completely collapsed and hit back to back double faults to essentially hand over the set to the motivated Russian.  

At the start of the second set, the sixth player in the world had a breakpoint, which he failed to capitalize on. This didn’t seem to hinder the German as he quickly won the next game. However, from that point on, Zverev started to play disastrously, losing five points in a row.

Like all great players, Medvedev used the momentum he had gained and stormed through, allowing the German to win only one game in the second set. 

Watching the match, we must say that Medvedev reminds us very much of Djoković. We think it’s also the reason why he had success against Novak in their previous matches. They seem to have quite similar styles of play; they get everything back; they make very few mistakes. Medvedev is 6’6, which gives him the extra height advantage and better serve. 

One thing about Medvedev’s style is that it’s not very flashy; it’s not super aggressive. Instead, it’s effective, which can also be said of Djoković, and it’s what made him a champion he is. 

So is the new Medvedev the best player in the world? Now, this might be a bit of a stretch considering the fact that he’s not won a Grand Slam yet. However, considering the rate at which he’s advancing and all the finals he’s making, he just might be. 

The Russian virtuoso won his seventh career title and fourth this season, two of which are at Masters tournaments. He also recorded 59 wins in the 2019 season, which is the most of any player on tour. 

Reaching six finals in a row is a truly astonishing achievement, and only a handful of players have managed to do it in the last 20 years. Looking into the big three, Rafael Nadal reached nine consecutive finals in the 2013 season. 

Novak Djoković and Roger Federer are tied for the most consecutive finals, and it’s really a mind-blowing number – 17. In our opinion, that might also be one of those records that are almost unbeatable. 

Federer achieved it at the back end of 2005 going into 2006, and Novak Djoković did it in his amazing 2015 season and at the beginning of 2016. In 2015, Djoković reached 15 finals. Every tournament he played, he reached a final, which is also a record. 

One thing that’s unique about Medvedev is that there are no big celebrations or jumping up and down after points. He’s very calm, and even after winning his first-ever Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, we couldn’t see any emotion whatsoever. 

He just gave that little smirk at the end, and that’s it. This only indicates that his intentions are far more reaching than winning a couple of Masters tournaments. 

With winning the title in Shanghai, Medvedev overtook Roger Federer’s number three spot on the rankings, or at least when it comes to the ATP Race to London rankings. Right now, he has 5,875 points, whereas the Swiss Maestro has 185 less – 5,690 in total. 

After the match, reporters asked the 23-year-old whether he considers himself invincible after playing in the sixth final from the last sixth tournaments he took place in. 

I can say that I looked invincible this week since I am the winner, but for the coming weeks, I’m not sure. This week, there were definitely some matches that, let’s say, lose the set, and we don’t know how it would have gone. It’s something outrageous that I have done in the past few months. It is how it is, I just take it, and I hope I can do much more.