- Alexander Zverev looks for a third ATP Tour title in four weeks in the Paris Masters final Sunday
- Daniil Medvedev has had a sub-par second half of 2020 but looks to finish in style
- Medvedev has evolved into the slight favorite. Is that deserved? We break it down
There is a lot of noise around Alexander Zverev these days – not good noise.
The 23-year-old won back-to-back titles at “home” in Cologne in late October. But in the week before the Paris Masters began, the German star became tabloid fodder.
One ex-girlfriend is five months’ pregnant with his child. Another has hit him with harrowing accusations of domestic violence.
But on the court, somehow, it seems all around him is very quiet.
Daniil Medvedev vs Alexander Zverev Odds
| Daniil Medvedev (RUS)||+1.5 (-175)||-120||U 23.5 (-120)|
| Alexander Zverev (GER)||-1.5 (+135)||-104||O 23.5 (-106)|
Odds as of Nov. 7 from DraftKings
Zverev has efficiently compartmentalized all that and has lost just one set in four matches.
He defeated multiple Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka and No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal, back to back, in straight sets to reach the final.
Daniil Medvedev vs Alexander Zverev Head-to-Head
|24 (Feb. 11, 1996)||Age||23 (April 20, 1997)|
|Moscow, Russia||Birthplace||Hamburg, Germany|
|7||Career ATP Singles Titles||13|
|No. 4 (Sept. 9, 2019)||Career High Ranking||No. 3 (Nov. 6, 2017)|
|No. 5||Current Ranking||No. 7|
|22-10||2020 Won/Loss record (includes Vienna)||27-8|
|$12,292,752||Career Prize Money||$22,817,860|
Closed Doors Help the Focus
The empty stands in the large Accor Arena because of pandemic restrictions in France eliminate any chance of fans aware of his story heckling Zverev.
And press conferences conducted virtually also makes things a lot easier for him.
If he can stay in his bubble, he’s carrying so much momentum into the final that it’s tough to see how Medvedev can find a way to beat him.
But if it hits him … it will show in his second serve, which has been prone to clusters of double faults this season when the nerves have hit.
Medvedev Trying to Finish Strong
Despite no record of success at the Paris Masters – at all – Medvedev was one of the favorites to take the title before the tournament began,
He also had no momentum coming in. But he has lost just one set in four matches this week.
— ROLEX PARIS MASTERS (@RolexPMasters) November 7, 2020
The early odds for Sunday’s final were exactly the same for both Medvedev and Zverev, at -112. Later Saturday Medvedev developed into a slight favorite.
It’s counterintuitive, given Medvedev’s season, his history in Paris and the head-to-head between the two.
In ATP Tour events, Medvedev had won back-to-back matches only twice all season.
Zverev Dominates Rivalry
It’s been almost exactly a year since these two young 20-somethings met, in near-identical conditions in an indoor arena with a similar surface.
Zverev won 6-4, 7-6 (4) in a round-robin match at the ATP Tour Finals. To add context, Zverev was playing to advance out of pool play and make the semifinals while Medvedev, already 0-2, was playing for money.
Medvedev’s One Win Was Masterful
The one exception to Zverev’s domination of their rivalry came during a period where Medvedev was winning virtually everything in sight last year.
The Russian made the Washington, Montreal and US Open finals. And he won Cincinnati, St. Petersburg and Shanghai. All in a three-month period.
Zverev’s dominance in this rivalry is actually quite surprising because they are so well matched in so many ways.
Both have big first serves. Both prefer their backhands as a weapon. Both are extremely tall, yet defend surprisingly well.
And while Zverev is trying to make strides, playing a lot more doubles than Medvedev, neither is particularly fond of moving forward to the net.
Daniil Medvedev vs Alexander Zverev – Previous Meetings
|2019||ATP Tour Finals||RR||6-4, 7-6 (4)||Zverev|
|2019||Masters 1000 Shanghai||F||6-4, 6-1||Medvedev|
|2018||Masters 1000 Canada||R16||6-3, 6-2||Zverev|
|2018||Masters 1000 Miami||R64||6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (5)||Zverev|
|2017||Washington (500)||QF||6-2, 6-4||Zverev|
|2016||St. Petersburg (250)||R16||6-3, 7-5||Zverev|
In the end, though, Medvedev’s numbers across the board are better than Zverev’s in this tournament. Both first- and second-serve winning percentages, second-serve return percentage, break-point conversion and break-point save percentages.
The second-serve nerves have held up. Zverev has just five double-faults in four matches.
It could be a lengthy one – any prop on total games at ‘Over’ 25.5 is in the positive and worth a shot.
Pick: Zverev in three sets (+335)