After losing his first four matches at ATP level against Alexander Zverev, it appears the world No. 2 has officially cracked the code against his good friend and rival. Daniil Medvedev has won their last four meetings, and has won his last three matches against Zverev on an indoor hardcourt by an average total of six games.

There’s no question Medvedev plays his best tennis on a quick court—much like the one this week—as a slicker surface rewards his bombing first-serve and skidding flat groundstrokes more than a slow one. Though the court in Paris last week was on the slow side, it didn’t matter at all, as Medvedev unleashed a 6-2, 6-2, beatdown against a mentally and physically exhausted Zverev.

Medvedev survived a tough test from ATP Finals newcomer Hubert Hurkacz, ultimately outlasting the Pole 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, without facing a break point. Zverev was locked in a tough battle against Matteo Berrettini, before the Italian was forced to retire after the first set from an abdominal injury that resurfaced at a terrible time.


Zverev is in danger of losing his fifth consecutive match to Medvedev.

Zverev is in danger of losing his fifth consecutive match to Medvedev.

I am sometimes guilty of forgetting just how good Medvedev is on an indoor hardcourt. He was in the drivers seat in the Paris final against Djokovic, dominating the baseline rallies before the Serb completely adjusted his tactics.

In a beautiful showcase of his utter greatness as a tennis player, Djokovic turned into a combination of Pete Sampras and Pat Rafter, winning 27/36 net-points and 54 of 88 points under five shots.

Medvedev had no answer for the change in tactics, but nobody else in the world would have either.

According to the oddsmakers, Medvedev is listed as a -164 favorite and projected to win by two total games. Based on his current level, and recent win-streak against Zverev, I am perfectly comfortable closing my eyes and grabbing the -2 game spread (-115). There’s no question the oddsmakers lines have been extremely sharp during the end of this season, but it will take a massive effort from Zverev to rattle Medvedev’s confidence, and I’m not sure he has what it takes at the moment.

The Pick: Daniil Medvedev -2 games