Alexander Zverev: miles away from the top - Daniil Medvedev proves it
At the US Open: Medvedev shows Zverev that he is miles away from the world class
Alexander Zverev makes it to the knockout stages at the US Open, where he fails for Diego Schwartzman. In contrast, the newcomer and later finalist Daniil Medvedev shows the German that he still lacks a good piece to the top of the world.
In the end, Daniil Medvedev had to beat the great Rafael Nadal in his first Grand Slam final (5: 7, 3: 6, 7: 5, 6: 4, 4: 6). The way he lost and how he previously maneuvered through the tournament was, after all, impressive. The Russian showed how to compete in the concert of the greats.
As different as Medvedev is as a person, so different is he from other young tennis players who want to annoy the big ones. But the performance also shows how far other youngsters like Alexander Zverev are actually still far from the world class.
While Zverev lost in the first three rounds a total of five games and had to deny two five-set matches, Medvedev gave only twice the serve and had after four sets at the latest. Especially in the tiebreak he proved nerves of steel and won all five, which he played at the US Open. Zverev won two and gave one.
Medvedev shows Zverev how to become a big guy
The fact that he even got into the Tiebreaks, was also due to the fact that Medvedev won his serve games. Zverev, on the other hand, kept shaking regularly and felt that every second break was a double mistake. He served the second serve in the field, this was often more throw than beam.
Medvedev was also nervous when the match was not in his favor. Against the German Dominik Köpfer he lay back sentence and break, was according to own statements shortly before giving up - and won the match then in four sets.
He struck against Stan Wawrinka and beat a multiple Grand Slam winner in four sets, while his game against Grigor Dimitrov varied greatly and eliminated the actually better-playing Bulgarians in three sets.
Zverev is nervous - but against which opponents?
It would be wrong to deny Zverev general nerve strength at this point. However, it is worth taking a look at the rivals that Zverev lost in the opening laps.
Against Radu Albot, he almost gave away a 2-0 sentence lead and saved himself in the fifth round. Frances Tiafoe defeated the German in a roller coaster match, in which both players took full-length complete time-outs in five sets. Against Aljaz Bedene lost a superior led set one, but then struck back with two won Tiebreaks.
Also interesting is the match against the eventual semi-finalist Diego Schwartzman. The Argentinian lost the first set, but unnerved Zverev then through his variable game and his gummiwandartige approach, almost every ball back. Zverev then made mistakes, gave a total of eight times his own serve and lost in four sets. For comparison: Medvedev lost to Nadal in five sets only six times his service.
Keyword finale: In the middle of the third movement, everything pointed to Nadal's three-goal victory. The Spaniard led 2-0 in the sets and was a break ahead. But Medvedev did what champions do: he fought and threw in everything he had in his tank. The wages were the direct re-break and winning the sets three and four.
Medvedev is not deterred - Zverev more and more often
Although it was not enough in the end, despite breakballs in the fifth set: Medvedev demonstrated a mental strength that usually only the Bigs players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Nadal have. None of the other up and coming players, such as Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nick Kyrgios or the returned Dimitrov, are as cold and tired as Medvedev.
The 23-year-old even got involved with the crowd when he received a warning in the third round match against Feliciano Lopez and then tapped his temples with his middle finger. After the match accompanied by boos, which of course he won, he provoked further. "If you go to bed tonight, you should know that I have won only because of you." Although he later apologized: Medvedev is the same as he is with every fiber.
If Zverev, who often quarrels and seems to be elsewhere, could take an example from Medvedev and adapt his mental strength, he would take his tennis to another level.
After the US Open must be noted, however, that the German number 1 (still) miles away from the top of the world.