Paris Masters: Zverev halts Nadal to set up title clash with Medvedev

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning his semifinal against Rafael Nadal. Photo: Reuters
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Paris: Top seed Rafael Nadal's bid for a maiden Paris Masters title was halted on Saturday when the Spaniard was beaten 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals by German fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

Nadal, who reached the final at Bercy once in 2007, was only briefly in the mix, conceding serve three times.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion broke back after falling 4-2 behind in the second set but it was a brief comeback as the 23-year-old Zverev stole his serve again in the 11th game.

He then served it out, prevailing on his second match point when Nadal's forehand flew wide.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal looks dejected after his semifinal defeat to Alexander Zverev. Photo: Reuters

Zverev will look to claim his fourth Masters title against Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev, who qualified with a commanding 6-4, 7-6(4) victory against Canadian Milos Raonic.

Medvedev hit 31 winners to 12 unforced errors in a muffled atmosphere at the Bercy arena, where the tournament is being played without spectators amid government restrictions to contain the rise of COVID-19 cases in France.

The 24-year-old, who arrived in Paris having lost five of his eight previous matches, broke for 3-2 as Raonic made yet another forehand unforced error.

Both then stayed strong on serve and Medvedev, who saved six of seven break points throughout, bagged the opening set with a timely serve and volley on his first opportunity.

Raonic dropped serve in the 11th game of the second set but he broke straight back to force a tie-break, in which he was out of sorts, with Medvedev wrapping it up with a smash to reach his fourth Masters final.

"When you play against Milos, you are always at risk because (if) one time he breaks you, it is very tough to break him back," said Medvedev.

"It was shaky here and there, but I am really happy to be through to the final."

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