Zverev charges into Washington, D.C. semis, Nishikori outlasts Paul

Alexander Zverev advanced to the semifinals of the Citi Open for the second consecutive summer when he made routine 6-2, 6-4 work of Daniil Medvedev in just 57 minutes on Friday evening. The 20-year-old German, who has already climbed to No. 8 in the world, held all nine of his service games while fighting off two break points.

Zverev survived his opening match of the tournament against Jordan Thompson in a third-set tiebreaker but has since raised his level to defeat Medvedev and Tennys Sandgren in straight sets.

“I love the atmosphere and the people in Washington,” the fifth seed explained. “It’s a young crowd and they’re very loud, so it’s always fun to play here. I’m just happy to be through to the semifinals, but obviously don’t want to stop here.”

Medvedev had his Washington, D.C. run stopped, but he may be part of the NextGen ATP Finals in Milan–along with Zverev–at the end of the year. The 21-year-old Russian is up to 50th in the rankings and is expected to be 48th next week thanks in part to victories over Reilly Opelka, Steve Johnson, and Grigor Dimitrov. Medvedev gbeat both Opelka and Johnson in third-set tiebreakers.

“I think Medvedev has a huge game, like a lot of the Russian players who are playing very aggressively,” Zverev commented. “He looks much stronger in the past year and moves very well, so his game is coming along.”

So, too, is the game of Tommy Paul. Following a breakout performance in Atlanta (quarterfinals last week), Paul also reached the quarters in Washington, D.C. and came within one point of extending his run to the semis. Kei Nishikori, however, saved three match points and eventually outlasted the 20-year-old American 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.

Nishikori advances to face Zverev on Saturday, while the other semifinal will pit Kevin Anderson against Jack Sock.


6 Comments on Zverev charges into Washington, D.C. semis, Nishikori outlasts Paul

  1. Tommy Paul-Nishi match last night was AMAZING….really tough, high level, 3 sets of great tennis. Nishi will be exhausted….Sasha i straight….and Sock in 3.

    • Scoot, it really was amazing! Ever since Paul won the RG boys title in 2015 over Fritz, I’ve been waiting for him to make some sort of breakthrough, and it looks to me like he’s potentially made that first break-through. It also made me happy to see Kei letting it rip and not making errors on really big points. It’s so easy to get tight and make an error when you’re down match point, so Kei did a great job staying competitive. Although if there is one thing about Kei that can’t be denied, it’s that he has an extremely good record in going to distance in matches, so maybe the Paul match outcome wasn’t a surprise… Anyway, I believe that in his day, Kei is a better player than Zverev, but I can definitely picture a scenario where Zverev comes out firing, sustains that level, and Kei never finds rhythm because he’s too damn exhausted. I think that if Kei is going to win, it will be in typical Kei fashion, which is lose the first set and then fight back to win in 3. Guy loses more first sets while still winning the match than any other top player I’ve ever seen haha. 🙂 Anyone else ever noticed that? I almost just go into Nishikori matches assuming he’s going to start slow and lose the first set. It must be torturous for his die-hard fans!

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