Alexander Zverev has revealed that he had some private help from Carlos Alcaraz to break his duck against Daniil Medvedev. The German and the world No 3 had faced off three times this year with Medvedev winning all three matches. But Zverev got revenge at the Cincinnati Open on Thursday, beating him 6-4 5-7 6-4 to advance to the quarter-final.
Zverev earned a significant win, ending a nine-match losing streak against top 10 players when he upset Medvedev. It also marked his best victory by ranking since before he picked up season-ending ankle injury at the 2022 French Open.
The pair were facing off for the fourth time this year, with all of their 2023 meetings coming in the round-of-16 of a Masters event. The world No 17 looked to be on his way to his fourth defeat when Medvedev had two break points at 4-3 in the third set but Zverev held strong and won three games in a row to finish off the match.
Speaking after the match, Zverev revealed that he received some advice from Alcaraz after a private meeting on the golf course ahead of last week’s Canadian Open. “Against him, playing slowly is not a bad tactic,” the 26-year-old told Tennis Channel.
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“So after golf with Carlos Alcaraz last week in Toronto, he gave me a very good game plan against him actually. I asked him a few questions so that was quite helpful.” But the German wouldn’t give the world No 1 all the credit.
“At the end of the day I did what I had to do. I kind of fought it out and I’m happy to be sitting here as the winner,” he added. Addressing the crowd straight after the two-hour-and-32-minute victory, Zverev said he was happy to end his losing streak against Medvedev.
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He explained: “He gives you absolutely nothing. You have to win the match yourself. That’s what I did today and I’m pleased with that. I lost three tight matches this year and I’m happy I finally won one.”
Zverev will now face Adrian Mannarino for a spot in the semi-final. The 16th seed is in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic, meaning they could meet in the last four if they both get there. And with Alcaraz defeating the Serb at Wimbledon last month, Zverev could go back to the 20-year-old for some more tips.
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