Medvedev beats Schwartzman to reach semis, Wawrinka snaps Rublev streak - GulfToday

Medvedev beats Schwartzman to reach semis, Wawrinka snaps Rublev streak


Daniil Medvedev returns the ball to Diego Schwartzman (unseen) during their quarter-final match of the Paris Masters on Friday. Reuters

Third seed Daniil Medvedev thrashed Diego Schwartzman on Friday to reach the Paris Masters semi-finals, leaving the Argentinian facing a nervous wait to see if he will qualify for the ATP Tour Finals.

Russian Medvedev raced to a 6-3, 6-1 win in just 64 minutes.

“Since I won yesterday I’m just watching Pablo, because it’s the only opponent I have right now,” said Schwartzman.

“We were joking yesterday about the next tournament in Sofia, if he’s going to play or if he’s going to win this tournament.

“But, yeah, obviously I’m watching right now because I’m not anymore in the tournament, and today maybe I hope Rafa wins.”

Medvedev has now won all four of his meetings with Schwartzman.

The world number five, whose seven ATP titles have all come on hard courts, broke Schwartzman’s serve in the third game and never looked back.

Schwartzman never looked like mounting a comeback, winning just one of 28 points on Medvedev’s first serve.

“I was doing everything bad today,” admitted Schwartzman. “It can happen, but it’s disappointing.

“I arrived to the match playing good tennis, playing really good weeks before here, and nothing. Was a disappointing match.”

The Tour Finals, being played in London for the last time before moving to Turin, get underway on Nov.15.

Wawrinka enters quarters: Stan Wawrinka turned around a first-set rout to upset the in-form Andrey Rublev and grab the last spot in quarter-finals.

Rublev, the fifth seed, had posted an ATP Tour-leading 40th win of the season in the second round, and looked set to add another scalp to his world-beating count as he raced to a 6-1 lead against Wawrinka. But the three-time Grand Slam winner responded emphatically to complete the turnaround 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 after an hour and 43 minutes.

“I think of course at the beginning he was playing faster than me, was playing better than me,” Wawrinka said in his post-match press conference. “It was tough for me to really find any solution when he’s playing that well.

“I was still believing that I could change something in my game and play a little bit better.”

The Russian player is one of the most in-form players of the season, and clinched his Nitto ATP Finals spot after lifting his fifth trophy of the season at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. He charged through his Paris opener, dropping just three games to Radu Albot to book his clash with Wawrinka.

Rublev carried all of that momentum into their late-night match-up in Paris, keeping the Swiss player’s serve under pressure from the start. Rublev pushed Wawrinka to deuce in three of his four service games, and was rewarded with a break each time as he charged through the set, 6-1.  

But the former World No.3 finally found his footing in the second set, and improved his first serve percentage from 69% to 78%, working his way back into the contest. He claimed his first break of the match at 4-3, and dodged two break points to take the set and send the contest into a decider.

Wawrinka continued to press as the match wound to a close, and a pair of service breaks bracketed the final set. Rublev fired a backhand into the net to end his winning streak at 11 consecutive matches, and send the former Paris semi-finalist back into the last eight.

“I didn’t start great the match, and he took the confidence from me also,” said Wawrinka. “I think for me it was important to really focus on my serve. I start to serve better, to mix more, to get more free points, to start to push him a little bit more, put him on defense a little bit. That’s when I knew I will have some occasion to break him. I’m really happy with the victory.”

Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev awaits in the quarter-finals after the German needed three sets and three hours to fend off an inspired challenge from veteran Adrian Mannarino, 7-6(11), 6-7(7), 6-4.

“It’s going to be a tough one, for sure,” Wawrinka said. “I lost to him in the Australian Open. Lost a few times to him already in the past. He’s a tough player for me to play, so it’s going to be interesting. I watched him a little bit tonight. He played also a long match. Hopefully I can deliver a great match tomorrow night.”

After edging through a marathon, nearly 16-minute tie-break in the opening set, Zverev arrived at match point in the second as they stayed deadlocked into another deciding tilt.


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