November 8, 2020
Daniil Medvedev is back and ready to thrill us all in London!
The flamboyant Russian turned on the style to defeat Alexander Zverev 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 and take the Paris Masters title with an astonishing comeback.
Medvedev eventually found a sweet spontaneity that made him simply unstoppable.
Zverev is super-talented but looked a little jaded after reaching three successive finals.
He was too passive when the going got tough. Feisty Medvedev, in stark contrast, took risks and mixed it up to turn the tide in his favour.
A frustrated Sascha wasn’t able to do that when it was his turn to try to solve the problem of his opponent’s resurgence. Zverev was running on empty by the end.
Free-flowing Daniil was absolutely merciless in that emphatic final set. He didn’t allow his rival so much as a glimmer of hope.
Medvedev is back playing the amazing tennis we all know he can. The young maverick has had to wrestle with demons this year. He has won the battle.
The former US Open finalist spoke for his entire team when he explained: ‘This year was maybe not the easiest one for us in many ways.
‘I was crying to my wife, well not crying but complaining to her, “Oh my God I don’t have the level, I don’t have one final, I’m playing so bad.”
‘But we managed to get a title here in one of the last two tournaments. My first in France and my third Masters. I’m super-happy.’
Now Medvedev will be among the favourites in London in a few days’ time.
Zverev was magnanimous in defeat and he too should provide some thrilling entertainment at the ATP Finals in the English capital.
Sascha said: ‘Congratulations Daniil, an amazing match, I was hoping you were going to lose your first Masters final but it wasn’t to be.
‘Everyone can see the improvement in my game since the coronavirus break, so thanks to my team.
‘One more thing. People are trying to wipe the smile off my face but I’m still smiling and I’m probably going to be a father in a few weeks, so everything is great in my life.’
The defiant Zverev is relishing the chance to show what he can do on the indoor courts of London too.
He has won the year-end finals before. And he must be a contender once more, if he can recharge his batteries in time.
It looked as though Sascha would take the Paris title, after he held firm against Medvedev at key moments in the first set and early in the second.
It was Daniil who crumbled on what proved to be his final service game of the opener.
And Zverev prevailed yet again in an epic, fifteen-minute third game of the second set.
The German was even 4-3 ahead and within sight of victory. But from that moment he could hardly win another game, as Medvedev threw caution to the wind.
Daniel’s relentless aggression brought constant rewards. Before we knew it, the match was level.
He refused to relax his grip for a moment once he had shifted that all-important momentum.
Medvedev raced to a 4-0 lead in the decider and Zverev seemed to have nothing left, either mentally or physically.
It has to be said, that final set was an anti-climax after Sascha’s convincing win over Rafael Nadal.
But the first two sets had been of such wonderous quality, this final remained something to treasure overall.
Tennis has never been more fascinating or competitive. The next generation are poised to win more honours in the near future.
The Russians are more than playing their part in this gradual changing world the guard. First Andrey Rublev won Vienna. Now Medvedev has taken Paris.
Both will be hungry for more glory in London. Can Novak Djokovic hold the youngsters at bay at the ATP finals? We’ll soon find out.
But one thing’s for sure. The balance of power will be even more intriguing by the time we return to the All England Club for Wimbledon 2021.
Not too long to wait now. The passion is building. The anticipation is tangible.
Will you be there when the legends do battle with the new stars on grass at Wimbledon 2021? We hope so!