On Thursday, August 17, the matches of the third round of the Cincinnati Masters (USA) will be played. Only one Russian made it to the 1/8-final stage, namely 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev, seeded No. 3. Medvedev was released from the first round games, and in the second round, for the second time in six days, he won a convincing victory over the promising Italian Lorenzo Musetti – 6: 4, 6: 3. Zverev, the 16th seed, already he had played two matches in the tournament before meeting Medvedev. First, the German of Russian origin won a convincing victory over the former third racket in the world Grigor Dimitrov (6: 2, 6: 2), and then he turned out to be stronger than the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioki – 7: 5, 6: 4.
Puffs for everyone! Medvedev again defeated the young Italian and already in the 3rd round Cincinnati
Medvedev and Zverev regularly cross paths on the pitch. Since 2016, there has only been one season in which they have not met: 2022. And even that is largely due to the fact that Alexander suffered a serious leg injury in the Roland Garros semi-finals with Rafael Nadal and then fell out. lost six months In personal meetings, the advantage is on the Russian side: 9-6. Also, in the last nine games before today, Daniel had eight wins.
In the 2023 season, Medvedev has already played three times with a main rival and won all three meetings. It is curious that all these matches were from the 1/8 final of the Masters, that is, at the same level as the new match. The Russian scored a hard-fought victory in Indian Wells, then did the same on clay in Monte Carlo, after which he beat Zverev in Rome in straight sets; this is also the clay that Daniil likes to play the least on. The fight in Monte Carlo was the most scandalous, so it was not a sin to make a separate article about it then. And the success in Indian Wells is still fresh in my memory.
Zverev, who recovered from the aforementioned injury, has been improving lately. Although the second line in the ATP ranking, where the German has already managed to visit, is still far away, Alexander is now 17th in the world ranking. But a month ago, Zverev won his first title since his return, defeating Hamburg on clay. At the Toronto Masters, however, he failed, losing in the 1/16 final to Alejandro Davidovich-Fokine-1:6, 2:6.
Medvedev performed better in Toronto, but still didn’t live up to expectations. In the quarterfinals, he lost to Alex de Minor, after which he complained about the balls. Having defeated Musetti already here in Cincinnati, Daniil returned to the subject of balls and courts. “I think it will be difficult for any tennis player to quickly get used to the local conditions. He changed the cut, it became more rigid. But the point is to be better than the other player in difficult conditions.
In my opinion, the court is different. Maybe the balls too. But it is difficult to talk about balls, because they strongly react to the surface. You can build another court right there and the balls will react differently. Hard to say. But the court is different, the ball flies. In every game I watched on TV, after a bad shot, it got out of control. And it is not easy, because we are not perfect. But in such conditions, you need to try to be closer to the ideal than to the opponent, ”the ATP press service quotes him.
Daniil Medvedev serving against Lorenzo Musetti at the 2023 Cincinnati Masters
Photo: Aaron Doster/Getty Images
The match reportedly started off quietly: Medvedev and Zverev each took their shot with confidence. In the fifth game, the Russian created trouble for himself by double-faulting and then giving the opponent a chance to earn a triple break point. But he didn’t take advantage of his chances, and Daniil, who regained his confidence on the pitch, emerged unscathed from this difficult match, despite another brace after the “plus”.
Medvedev got into a similar situation in game seven, giving his opponent double break point. However, this time the result was different: Zverev squeezed the Russian, who in the most offensive way double-faulted at 30:40 and led 4:3 with a break. In the eighth game, Daniil tried to win back and went to a triple break point, but then he began to act unsuccessfully on the reception and missed all opportunities. Alexander, with the score 5:4, served for the set. And in the second attempt he achieved a double set point: 6: 4 in 47 minutes. The decisive draw turned out to be very long, and Medvedev sent the ball over the end line. In terms of actively won points in this game, Zverev more than tripled his opponent – 10 against three.
In the second set, Medvedev immediately tried to seize the initiative, but Zverev left the break point in the second game – 1:1. In the long fourth game, the Russian also tried to take advantage of the opponent’s serve, but did not even reach break points – 2:2. But in the sixth game, Daniel finally took the lead, after Alexander made a mistake at the end: 4:2.
Medvedev did not hold the lead: Zverev hit the reverse break. After that, the German took the throw from him and equalized the score-4: 4. However, the endgame stuck with the Russian. With a score of 5:5, Daniil took the game from him and then made a break to nil: 7:5 in 1 hour. Here Zverev’s advantage in winners turned out to be even more significant – 16 against three. But he also had a lot more unforced errors: 15 against four.
Alexander Zverev plays in the 2023 Cincinnati Masters
Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
In the third set, the psychological advantage, in theory, should have been on the side of Medvedev, who managed to break his opponent at the end of the previous game. Tennis players stayed away from break points for a long time. In the eighth long game, during which he went “exactly” four times, Medvedev had chances to take someone else’s serve, but Zverev saved both break points – 4: 4. And in the ninth game the German already won a breaking point, and now he managed to achieve his goal, after the Russian scored a brace at a key moment. Serving for the match with a score of 5:4, Alexander gave Daniil only the first draw: 6:4, 5:7, 6:4 in 2 hours and 36 minutes.
Thus Medvedev for the first time since the final of the 2021 Final Tournament lost to Zverev, who in the quarterfinals will fight the winner of the match between Mackenzie McDonald (USA, WC) and Adrian Mannarino (France). The quarterfinal matches will take place on Friday, August 18, the semifinals on Saturday, August 19, and the final on Sunday, August 20. Follow all the events in the “Championship”.