The ATP 500 tournament will come to a close tomorrow where a champion will be determined at the China Open.
The first semi-final was between Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev. The pair have met four times this year, but it will be the first time in a 500 tournament as the other four, where Medvedev has gone 3-1, were during 1000 tournaments.
Unforced errors and winners were a big indicator on the momentum of the first-set. The world No. 3 Medvedev had just one unforced error to Zverev’s three and hit 10 winners while the German only hit five.
The Russian managed to take control of his games, knowing the service power of Zverev, who averaged 205 km/h on his first serve in set one. Running Zverev around the court with his shot placement, Medvedev managed to save both break point opportunities awarded to the German. Despite being out served, Medvedev managed to control rallies during both his first and second serve, dropping only three second service points.
Zverev wasn’t far off in the first-set either winning each service game, except his final of the set. The number two seed took advantage of the slower serves the eight seed hit and controled Zverev’s second serves winning four of the seven received.
After being given three break point opportunities, Medvedev converted his third. This proved crucial as it was not only break point, but set point as Medvedev won the first-set 6-4. Medvedev carried his momentum from the first-set into the second as he defeated Zverez to advance to the final at the China Open.
Zverev was broken in his final service game after he gifted the world No. 3 his only break point of the second-set. After going down 3-5, there was no recovery for the German after Medvedev didn’t drop a point in his final service game.
The biggest takeaway from the first semi-final is Medvedev’s serving ability. He managed to out serve one of the largest servers on the ATP Tour and did so in style hitting six aces and dropping only five service points in the second-set.
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz took to Diamond court for the second semi-final. This was the seventh all-time meeting between the pair, with their head-to-head is deadlocked at three wins each.
Alcaraz took an early lead breaking and holding against Sinner, but the Italian returned the favor leveling the set 2-2. The four games was a sign that not much will separate the two young stars. After hustling back to 2-2 neither player would gain a two game advantage in the set.
Winners and unforced errors didn’t favour one athlete over the other. Alcaraz, ranked second in the world, was favoured in winners, 12-11, and unforced errors, 4-5 over the fourth ranked player on the ATP Tour, Sinner.
The first-set in this semi-final came down to a tiebreak after Alcaraz held down 4-5 and 5-6. The top seed at the China Open fell in a first-set tiebreak 7-4 to Sinner, who looks to be the next player to qualify for this year’s ATP Finals in Turin.
Sinner took the momentum gained from the tiebreak to break his opponent and take the early 1-0 lead in the second set.
The second game of the set was a critical game for both players to win. A game that saw 16 points, and saw four game points for Sinner and two break points for Alcaraz, and lasted 10 minutes ending in the Italian holding and taking a 2-0 lead in the second set.
The top seed in Beijing had a chance to get back into the match after holding his second service game, but Sinner refused to drop another service game. After another 10 minute game that saw Sinner break Alcaraz and go up 4-1, the Italian took control of the match winning the next two games and winning the match 7-6, 6-1.
The China Open final will be a great opportunity for the Italian to boost qualification hopes for this year’s ATP Finals. To do so Sinner will need to beat Medvedev for the first time in his career, the Russian holds a 6-0 lead in the head-to-head.