Daniil Medvedev is some kind of savant on hard courts. Except for Novak Djokovic, Medvedev might be the best hard court player in the world having won 18 of his 20 career titles on the surface. And while he lost to Djokovic in the US Open final in 2023, he also has confidence he can beat anyone on a hard court as he destroyed Djokovic in the 2021 US Open final.
Alexander Zverev learned again in the semis of the China Open how fantastic Medvedev is on hard courts. While the head-to-head between the two is just 10-7 in favor of Medvedev, Zverev actually won four of the first five matches played between the two players. Since 2020, the Russian leads the series 9-3.
In the semis, he dominated Zverev with his serve winning 37 of 48 first-serve points and rarely needing a second serve. Still, the Russian won 7 of 8 second serve points. But Zverev had just 1 ace and was broken twice. The Russian was never broken.
China Open final set as Medvedev and Sinner win semis
In the other semifinal, Jannik Sinner shocked top-seed Carlos Alcaraz by not only taking the first set tie-break (7-4), but then Sinner was brilliant in taking the second set 6-1. Sinner didn’t have the same kind of serve that Medvedev did, but he didn’t need to.
He simply moved with ease, getting to balls that Alcaraz did not expect him to, and caused, surprisingly, Alcaraz to beat himself. This rarely happens, of course, but Sinner has the game to cause any of the best players trouble. Sinner is also growing as a player who should be a real threat to Alcaraz in Grand Slams for years to come. Sinner’s massive groundstrokes were something that Alcaraz simply had no answer to.
Now the China Open final will feature Daniil Medvedev versus Jannik Sinner in a match of differing styles. The Russian will try to outserve the Italian while Sinner will try to outrun Medvedev. The China Open is set up for a fantastic finish on the men’s side.