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Ricky’s Preview and Pick for Tuesday at the Nitto ATP Finals: Medvedev vs. Zverev

Daniil Medvedev of Russia reacts during his semi final match against Alexander Zverev of Germany at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 06 November 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

By Ricky Dimon

Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev will be looking to take control of Group B at the Nitto ATP Finals when they clash on Tuesday night.

Both players began their Turin campaigns with a one in the win column on Sunday, although they did so in much different fashion. Medvedev overcame Hubert Hurkacz 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in a match that featured extremely swift service holds with very few break chances. Zverev and Berrettini played a one-hour and 19-minute first set (won by the German 9-7 in a tiebreaker) with a whole host of tough service games. Berrettini eventually retired in the second game of set two because of an abdominal injury.

“I had zero break points to save, so in a way I was never under pressure,” Medvedev said of his match with Hurkacz. “I had only two games on Hubert’s serve where I had break points. (I’m) super happy to make this work and (that I) managed to get both breaks.”

Medvedev is now on a six-match winning streak at the year-end championship, having captured the title in its final stop in London with a perfect 5-0 record. The second-ranked Russian is also 23-3 since the Olympics.

Alexander Zverev of Germany reacts during his semifinal match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 06 November 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Zverev is a former champion of this event, as well, having lifted the trophy in 2018. However, he has also been eliminated in the group stage twice in four appearances–including last year, when he opened with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Medvedev.
The overall head-to-head series is all tied up at 5-5, but that hardly tells the real story. Medvedev once trailed 4-0 and has since won five of their last six encounters–and four in a row dating back to last season’s Paris Masters final. They just faced each other in the Paris semis this time around, with Medvedev dominating 6-2, 6-2.

A lightning-fast hard court only helps the No. 2 seed’s chances, as Zverev is more inconsistent from the baseline especially off the forehand side. Timing can be an issue for him to a much greater extent than it can be for Medvedev. Based on the surface, recent matchup history, and current form, all signs point to a mostly routine day at the office for Medvedev.

Pick: Medvedev in 2

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.