With a performance of very high level, the Russian Daniil Medvedev (N.4) beat the world number one Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday and qualified for the semi-finals of the London Masters.
Djokovic, who won his first meeting on Monday, will play his qualification in the last four against the German Alexander Zverev (N.7) who had earlier beaten the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman (N.9) (6- 3, 4-6, 6-3)
“I still love playing Novak, one of the greatest champions in our sport. When I was a kid I saw him win his first Grand Slam titles and it’s a childhood dream come true to face him “said the 24-year-old who taught the master a lesson after the game.
“I’m very happy to have beaten him, I served well and played the important points well. I think he didn’t play his best game today (…) but beat him even on a bad day it’s always difficult, “said the Russian, who had not won a match last year, for his first participation in the event.
With 79% of points gained on the first serve, and especially 61% on the second, the Russian was incredibly solid on his commitment against the best returner on the circuit, if not history.
– Impotent Djokovic –
Medvedev also conceded only one break point that he saved, while he seized three times from the Serbian.
Until 3-3 in the first set, the match was very undecided, but at the end of an endless 7th game, Djokovic gave up his service, conceding 7 games in a row to end up at 6-3, 3- 0 in favor of his opponent.
The world number one never found the solution against Medvedev who remained on a success at the Masters 1000 in Paris.
Cushioned early in the rally, climbed to the net, he tried everything, but as the match slipped away, he too often forced his shots and made the trifle of 24 unforced errors for only 14 points winning, while at his home opponents the proportion was opposite (19 and 13).
Djokovic will in any case have to quickly swallow his frustration if he wants to pursue his dream of equaling the six titles won at the Masters of Roger Federer.
For this, he will have to rule out an Alexander Zverev who has gained in strength to get rid of Schwartzman (6-3, 4-6, 6-3).
“It was much better today than Monday”, when he lost (6-3, 6-4) against Medvedev, Zverev said after the match.
– “The hardest part” remains to be done for Zverev –
“I’m happy to give myself a chance to qualify, but Friday’s match will be the hardest we can play here,” against Djokovic, whom he had yet beaten in the final in 2018.
Faced with Schwartzman, against whom he had a balanced record of 2 wins for 2 losses before this meeting, the match was very undecided with no less than 13 breaks.
In this game, it is the German who was the least irregular and who was able to raise his level of play in the decisive moments.
His superior quality of service – 73% of first balls against 63% and especially 10 aces to 0 – made the difference especially when he found himself at 5-3 but on his engagement in the first set 15-40, before d ‘line up four big first balls to win the round.
Zverev then thought he had done the hardest part by taking the opposing service in the third game of the second set, but he lost it again at the end of the sixth game (3-3) and seemed to come out of his game a bit.
Schwartzman managed to make the break again at 5-4 in the second set, to return to a set everywhere after 1h34 of play.
But the German eventually came to his senses, and relying again on a devastating throw-in (89% of first balls and 4 aces in the last set), he was able to wait for the flaw that presented itself. at 2-2 and eliminate the Argentine.