Tennis: Zverev beats Medvedev to stretch Cincinnati win streak

AFP , Thursday 17 Aug 2023

Alexander Zverev won a battle of former ATP/WTA Cincinnati Open champions against Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 on Thursday to maintain his win streak at the event.

Alexander Zverev of Germany returns a shot to Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan during the Western Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16, 2023 in Mason, Ohio. AFP


The 16th-seeded German, who missed the second half of last season with a serious ankle injury, won his eighth consecutive Cincinnati match dating to his 2021 title run.

"It was such a difficult time for me last year," said Zverev, the recent Hamburg clay champion. "I couldn't walk and couldn't play.

"It's moments like this that make it all so special."

He also turned the tables in the third-round match on third seed Medvedev, the 2019 champion who had defeated him three times already this season -- all at the Masters level.

"I had to be patient in very tough windy conditions," Zverev said. "They were difficult conditions and a difficult opponent.

"He doesn't give you anything, you have to win the match yourself -- I'm pleased I did that."

Zverev made his late breakthrough as Medvedev double-faulted to drop serve and trail 4-5 in the third set.

Moments later, the 17th-ranked German was lifting his hands high in victory, achieved on his first match point after two and a half hours.

He ended with 36 winners and nearly 50 unforced errors as the pair played for the 16th time.

"I had to take my chances in this wind," Zverev said. "You won't get many from Medvedev."

In the WTA draw, Marketa Vondrousova advanced to the quarter-finals 7-5, 6-3 over Sloane Stephens as the Wimbledon winner buried her modest past at the pre-US Open event.

The Czech was 0-3 here prior to this edition and has surprised herself at her Cincinnati progress.

"It has been really special this week. I came here not knowing how I would play," she said.

"It's such a pleasure to be back as Wimbledon champion.

"It was very windy during the match and hard to focus. The wind was crazy, we were both fighting it.

"But I'm happy with how I'm playing."

American Stephens was playing the event for a 12th time and reached the semi-finals six years ago.

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