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“The Chessmaster” Medvedev qualifies for China Open final in Beijing

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Bren Gray

Daniil “The Chessmaster” Medvedev improved his dominant hard-court record in 2023 on Tuesday, defeating German Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-3 to make the final of the China Open in Beijing.

The Russian was close to his best in the win over Zverev, and extends his lead in the pair’s head-to-head to 10-7 now. After the match, The Chessmaster claimed to have gotten lucky in the straight sets victory, saying:

“After the match, that’s what I told him. Yeah, I got a little bit luckier because, again, the match was close. I said, Whoever gets the first break point in our match usually loses. That was funny.”

Medvedev enjoying Beijing conditions, ready for Sinner in final

The win over Alexander Zverev sees Daniil Medvedev through to his eighth final of the season on the ATP Tour, where he will face Italian Jannik Sinner, who defeated top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the tournament’s other semi-final.

The Chessmaster will be hoping for similar conditions in that match, as he credited the speed of the court for his ability to dominate on serve.

“The difference today, either with the roof closed or playing in the evening, for whatever reason, straight in the warm-up, hitting the balls with Sascha, I was like, Wow, that’s really faster than yesterday and the days before. The ball was sliding through the court,” Medvedev said after the match.

Medvedev struck eight aces and won 80 percent of first serve points across the match, making 72 percent of his first serves as well. Behind this, he saved all four break points faced, while twice breaking Zverev’s serve. To top it off, The Chessmaster crushed an incredible 19 winners to just one unforced error for the match.

Of his impending final against Jannik Sinner, Medvedev made it clear that he’s expecting some new challenges from the 22-year-old:

“He’s still so young. Every match he learns. Every tournament he learns. Since last time we played, he managed to get his first 1000 Masters title. It’s a big boost of confidence. Every time we play, he’s going to want to beat me more and more.”

Sinner is to looking to gain qualification to the ATP Finals in Turin this tournament, while The Chessmaster has already secured his spot at the year-end championship.