Daniil Medvedev, with an impressive record of 41 hard-court victories this season, fought valiantly to overcome a determined Ugo Humbert in a thrilling three-setter at the China Open on Monday. The 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 scoreline showcases the mettle of the second seed, especially as 2023 witnesses him setting the benchmark with the most hard-court triumphs on the Tour.
In an intense face-off, Medvedev initially appeared to grapple with his rhythm, allowing the skilled Frenchman, Humbert, to capitalize on a few misfires from the baseline. Yet, Medvedev's signature resilience came to the fore in the deciding set where he displayed an impeccable game, free of any unforced errors, sealing the match after a nail-biting two hours and seven minutes.
Reflecting on his performance, Medvedev expressed, “It’s heartening to see how I was able to elevate my game during pivotal moments. Achieving such consistency even in a challenging match like this is crucial. The goal is always to progress as far as possible in any tournament, and as we advance, the competition only gets more fierce.”
Medvedev's Quest for Asian Glory
This victory marks Medvedev’s tenth semi-final berth in the 18 tour-level events he's participated in this year. Looking ahead, he's set to clash with the formidable Alexander Zverev, aiming for his eighth title match.
Medvedev, who already boasts hard-court crowns from Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, and Miami earlier this year, is on the hunt for his second title in China and his third in the Asian circuit. The Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center plays host to the 27-year-old's quest, reminding fans of his previous successes in Tokyo (2018) and the Rolex Shanghai Masters (2019).
On the other side, Alexander Zverev, the German powerhouse, continued his dominant form, stretching his win streak to seven. He bested Nicolas Jarry from Chile in a tight contest, registering a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 win. Zverev's exceptional play, which included 27 winners and 13 aces, saw him advance to his 60th tour-level semi-final. Currently positioned seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, Zverev has his eyes set on the top five, contingent on his performance in Beijing.