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ATP Shanghai Masters Day Eight Tips: Medvedev justifiably favourite over Zverev

Russian Tennis Player Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev is going for his fourth title of the year...
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We reach the conclusion of the Shanghai Masters on Sunday and with both favourites victorious in Saturday's semi-finals, Dan Weston returns to discuss the final...

"In 2019 on hard court, Medvedev has a 2.5% advantage on service points won and a 1.2% edge on return, and quite incredibly this is his sixth consecutive final."

Medvedev extends head to head lead over Tsitsipas

Our tough week in China improved a little with victory for Daniil Medvedev over Stefanos Tsitsipas, extending the Russian's head to head advantage to 5-0, and denying the Greek man a set for the first time in their head to head series.

With all those matches coming from March 2019 onwards, this has the real makings of a meaningful head to head record, particularly as Tsitsipas again struggled on return against Medvedev's serve - a tendency he has exhibited previously, which was highlighted in the preview of the match - and won just 22% of return points in the match.

Head to head deficit against Zverev meaningless

However, the head to head record for Medvedev is less positive against his opponent in Sunday's final, Alexander Zverev, but this is a classic case of a meaningless head to head series. A lazy glance at the scoreline - and perhaps a narrative that commentators who didn't dig deep enough with their research will try to create - will show that Medvedev is yet to beat Zverev in four matches.

This, though, cannot be considered remotely relevant to the current match-up. Medvedev's highest ranking in any of those matches was 48, and he's now ranked four - a higher ranking than Zverev himself now. Zverev's biggest price in any of those head to head matches was around the [1.40] mark, a clear departure from Sunday's market pricing.

Medvedev with statistical advantage on hard court

In fact, the market has Medvedev as the [1.67] favourite, with my model going slightly smaller. It's quite not enough for me to perceive that there is sufficient pre-match value though. In 2019 on hard court, Medvedev has a 2.5% advantage on service points won and a 1.2% edge on return, and quite incredibly this is his sixth consecutive final. We have to go back to Wimbledon at the start of July to find a tournament he entered where he didn't make the final.

Medvedev is 2-3 in the five completed finals so far (losses to Nadal twice, and Kyrgios, wins over Goffin and Coric) and looks justified as favourite to go 3-3 tomorrow, and this would be his fourth title of a magnificent season for the young Russian.

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Dan Weston,

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