SHANGHAI (AFP) - Daniil Medvedev won his fourth tennis title of a spectacular year with a commanding 6-4, 6-1 victory over Alexander Zverev in the Shanghai Masters final on Sunday (Oct 13).
Victory for the 23-year-old Russian, contesting a sixth final in a row, was more evidence that he is the prime contender to join the "Big Three" of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who have an amazing combined 55 Grand Slam titles.
The US Open finalist is also able to say that he has finally beaten the German Zverev, another young contender at 22, at the fifth attempt.
This was an emphatic statement from the world No. 4, needing just 74 minutes to seal the win and failing to drop a set all week.
“I can say that here I looked invincible this week, since I am the winner,” said Medvedev, who was planning to catch a 1am flight to Moscow and could play there this week.
“This week, yes, I probably was invincible, but for the coming weeks I’m not sure.
“Here this week there were definitely some matches that, let’s say, lose the set and we don’t know how it would have gone.”
Medvedev said that he is a better player than he was at the start of the year, but has really sparkled since the summer.
Starting with Washington, DC, in July, the Russian has reached six finals on the spin – including the US Open – winning three of them.
Medvedev made a fast start, winning his service game and then breaking Zverev's for an early 2-0 lead.
Under a closed stadium roof because of rain in Shanghai, the German was suffocating, down 3-0 after 11 minutes.
But the sixth-ranked German sent down an ace to finally get a foothold in the match and then broke back for 3-2.
The duo went with serve until Zverev conceded the set with two calamitous double faults on the trot, the last of which he transpired to gift with a horribly mishit second serve that drew a few giggles from the crowd.
The second set began in the same way as the first - Medvedev breaking Zverev's first service game for a prompt 2-0 lead.
He then broke once more in the fourth for a dominant victory, and sealed the title with an ace - and the most subtle of smiles.