Finally, victory for Medvedev

Finally, victory for Medvedev

PARIS • Daniil Medvedev claimed his first Paris Masters title at Bercy Arena yesterday by battling back from a set down to beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

The Russian was in top form in a high-quality encounter, winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 after two hours and seven minutes to secure his first trophy of the campaign and the eighth of his career.

He had more energy in the deciding set and made the most of his opportunities against an inconsistent Zverev to seal his third Masters 1000 title after last year’s triumphs in Cincinnati and Shanghai.

It was also the eighth ATP Tour title for the third seed and it comes at the right time after a complicated and Covid-disrupted season as he heads to London for the season-ending ATP Finals, which commences on Sunday.

Medvedev, who earned just his second victory over Zverev in six meetings, said: “Before the tournament, I was not in my best form, playing not so (good) with zero finals.

“I was actually complaining to my wife, like, ‘Oh my god, I don’t have the level. I don’t even have one final. I’m playing so bad, blah blah.’

“Finally, I’m the winner of Bercy. It’s great, I’m really happy. As I always say, I don’t always show this after matches, but I’m always happy to win.

“But now, three Masters titles, it’s great. I have had the level this week. I managed to keep the pressure on and in the end, I broke his level a little bit.”

Medvedev, who will pass Roger Federer as world No. 4 today, was at his best in Paris, continuing his magnificent record on hard courts – all of his ATP titles have come on the surface.

Fourth seed Zverev, who was bidding for a third straight tournament victory after back-to-back success on home soil in Cologne, remains without a Masters title since the 2018 Madrid Open after seeing his 12-match winning streak come to an end.

However, the world No. 7 will also be in London, where he will hope to become a second-time winner following his 2018 victory.

Zverev, who has been in the news of late after being accused of domestic violence by his former girlfriend Olya Sharypova, as well as a shock revelation he would soon become a father with another former girlfriend announcing her pregnancy, had a message for his detractors. “I know that there’s gonna be a lot of people that right now are trying to wipe a smile off my face but under this mask I’m smiling brightly. I feel incredible on court,” the US Open finalist said. “Everything is great in my life. The people who are trying can keep trying.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS