Paris Masters 2020: Rafael Nadal Upset by Alexander Zverev in Semifinal Showdown

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2020

Germany's Alexander Zverev reacts after winning his semi-final game against Spain's Rafael Nadal at the Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Thibault Camus/Associated Press

Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev advanced to the 2020 Paris Masters men's championship match with victories Saturday at Accor Arena in France.

Medvedev defeated Milos Raonic in a tight straight-sets encounter in the first semifinal. Zverev upset Rafael Nadal in a similarly hard-fought second semifinal.

Let's take a closer look at all of the important details from Saturday's action in Paris.

                  

Saturday's Results

(4) Alexander Zverev d. (1) Rafael Nadal; 6-4, 7-5

(3) Daniil Medvedev d. (10) Milos Raonic; 6-4, 7-6 (4)

                 

Championship Schedule

(3) Daniil Medvedev vs. (4) Alexander Zverev

Time: Sunday at 9 a.m. ET

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Semifinal Recap

The clash between Medvedev and Raonic came down to break-point opportunities.

Raonic had seven break chances, including three in a game with his third-seeded Russian opponent serving down 3-4 in the second set that could have changed the course of the match, but he converted just one.

By contrast, Medvedev broke his Canadian counterpart twice in three opportunities and won his first two points on the return in the second-set tiebreaker en route to the victory.

It wasn't the cleanest match from Medvedev, who finished with seven aces and three double faults compared to a 12-1 ratio for Raonic. He played better on the crucial points, though.

He's heading for his fourth final in a Masters 1000 tournament. He won the Cincinnati Masters and Shanghai Masters in 2019. The Shanghai triumph came over Zverev.

The 23-year-old German was dominant with his serve to set up that meeting with Medvedev.

Zverev racked up 13 aces with just one double fault while winning a total of 71.7 percent of the points on his serve. Those numbers would be tremendous regardless of the opponent, but to post them against an elite defensive player like Nadal is extraordinary.

He's 3-3 in previous Masters finals, with his most recent win coming in the 2018 Madrid Open. He holds a 5-1 head-to-head advantage over Medvedev, with the only loss coming in the Shanghai final.