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Zverev vs Medvedev Nitto ATP Finals Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Victory will take Zverev through; Medvedev must hope, and then win

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 15 Nov 2019
  • Alexander Zverev vs Daniil Medvedev is live from London on Friday, 15 November from 8:00pm local time/ 8:00pm GMT
  • Zverev leads 4-1 in career meetings, Medvedev won their only previous match in 2019
Alexander Zverev (Photo by: Roberto Zanettin/LPS via ZUMA Wire)

Defending champion, Alexander Zverev faces Daniil Medvedev in the final round robin match at the Nitto ATP Finals on Friday night, with both players- as at the time of writing- still in with a shot at making the semi-finals of the season-ending event.

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Zverev is in control of his own destiny, and will qualify for the semis if he wins on Friday, but Medvedev's route is less straightforward, as must first hope that Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Rafael Nadal in the day’s earlier match to keep his Nitto ATP Finals hopes alive, after which he must beat Zverev in straight sets. Medvedev will be eliminated if Nadal beats Tsitsipas.

The great news for Medvedev and Zverev is that theirs is the later match, and so their fates and requirements will be much clearer by the time they to the court on Friday night. 

Zverev might not even need to beat Medvedev to qualify- if Tsitsipas beats Nadal, the defending champion will only have to take a set off Medvedev to advance to the semi-finals. It’s all a little complex, isn’t it?!

Zverev has had two sharply contrasting matches so far in his Nitto ATP Finals title defence- he was absolutely magnificent in his 6-2 6-4 victory over Nadal in his tournament opener, but was well beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in his second match.

The 22-year-old began well against Tsitsipas, and looked to be the better player during the early exchanges, carrying on from where he left off against Nadal. Both men held serve through the first seven games of the match, with Tsitsipas saving a break point at 2-2, but Zverev played a loose game at 3-4, committing a series of forehand errors en route losing his serve. His completely lost his way after that, succumbing to a 6-3 6-2 loss in just an hour and 14 minutes.

“He played a fantastic match, I thought. I played really bad,” Zverev said. “At this level, this is how it goes when somebody plays great and you don't play your best. It can go this way, especially against him who I think this surface, these conditions fit him quite well.”

Zverev has had his fair share of bad weeks this season, as he is only 42-23 for the year. Those aren't terrible numbers, but they fall well short of the standards he had set in the previous campaigns. The German was comfortably over the 50-win mark in each of the last two seasons. He's won just one title this year, in Geneva, and reached two other finals in Acapulco and Shanghai.

Despite his relative struggles this season, and a heavy defeat against Tsitsipas, Zverev has still got a great chance of making the last four at the Nitto ATP Finals, as any sort of win against Medvedev will definitely take the defending champion beyond the round-robin phase of the competition.

It's been a very tough Nitto ATP Finals debut for Medvedev- losing out to Tsitsipas in two tight sets in his tournament opener, and then suffering a gut-wrenching collapse against Nadal in his second group match.

The world No. 4 appeared to be cruising towards his first win of the competition when he built up a 4-0 final-set lead over Nadal- he even had two more break points for a 5-0 lead, and a match point at 5-1, but he completely fell away after that, capitulating in the face of a spirited Nadal fightback.

That collapse was particularly surprising because Medvedev had shown a marked improvement in his mental toughness through the course of the season- one of the main driving forces behind his meteoric rise into the top four. A fantastic season has included maiden Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai, and other titles in Sofia and St. Petersburg, while he was runner-up in Brisbane, Barcelona, Washington, Montreal, and the US Open. He went on that superb run after Wimbledon during which he won six straight finals (and won three titles), but he's just cooled off a little in the last month, and has lost his last three matches.

Can he get back to winning ways, and possibly sneak into the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals?

The Russian trails 1-4 in his head-to-head with Zverev, but his one win was in their most recent meeting at the Shanghai Masters- their only previous encounter in 2019.

A lot is dependent on the earlier match between Nadal and Tsitsipas, and whether Medvedev would still be in the semi-final picture by the time he steps on court to face Zverev.

If he's out of the competition by then, I'm not sure he can find the motivation to win, especially given the way he lost against Nadal, but if he is still in with a chance of progressing, he could see that as an opportunity to rectify the aberrations from the previous match, and produce a match-winning performance. He's definitely got the game to take down Zverev, like he showed in Shanghai. He's got the game to take down anyone in truth.

That first match will play a huge role in the dynamics of this contest, and things will only be a lot clearer following Nadal's match with Tsitsipas.

Alexander Zverev vs Daniil Medvedev is live from London on Friday, 15 November from 8:00pm local time/ 8:00pm GMT

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Zverev vs Medvedev Nitto ATP Finals Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Victory will take Zverev through; Medvedev must hope, and then win

Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev go head-to-head at the Nitto ATP Finals on Friday with both men still nursing hopes of making the semi-finals. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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