World no. 4 Daniil Medvedev has been the player to beat on the hard courts so far in 2019, advancing into the semi-final at Shanghai Masters following a 6-3, 7-6 triumph over Fabio Fognini. The encounter lasted an hour and 26 minutes and the Russian was always in control, serving at 77% and dropping only 11 points behind the initial shot, never facing a break point.
On the other hand, Fabio fended off three out of four break chances, staying in touch as long as possible but falling short in the tie break to propel Daniil into the fourth Masters 1000 semi-final of the season, entering the season with only eight wins at this level!
It was the 15th straight victory for the Russian in ATP quarter-finals and the 27th in the last 30 encounters, playing on incredible level after Wimbledon and hoping for more of the same against Novak Djokovic or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semis.
Medvedev closed the match with 23 winners and 14 unforced errors, blasting a service winner in 30% of the points in his games and dominating in the shortest exchanges to seal the deal in straight sets and stay on the title course.
Landing 83% of the first serve in the opener, Daniil dropped four points in five service games, having the upper hand and waiting for a chance on the return patiently. It came in game four when Fabio sprayed four errors, breaking the Italian at love and closing the set with three winners at 5-3 after less than 30 minutes.
Fognini fended off break chances in games three and five in set number two and repelled another one at 4-4 with a perfect drop shot that kept him in contention until the tie break. There, Medvedev endured a long rally to draw a forehand error from Fognini that sent him 5-3 up, gaining a 6-4 advantage with a perfect serve&volley and forcing a mistake from Fabio to seal the deal and advance into the last four.