Alexander Zverev put aside personal issues to concentrate on his game, with the German upsetting Rafael Nadal 6-4, 7-5 on Saturday at the Paris Masters to earn his fourth final from his last five events.
The US Open runner-up and back-to-back champion at home in Cologne last month, will bring a 5-1 record into Sunday’s showdown with Daniil Medvedev.
The Russian defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(4) earlier to take his first spot in a title match this season after playing in nine finals in 2019.
Zverev has been dogged by off-court concerns, with a former Russian girlfriend accusing him of domestic abuse while his most recent – and estranged – German top-model squeeze has said she is pregnant with his child.
The seventh-ranked Zverev spent an hour and three-quarters in defeating top seed Nadal, who will remain without another title at the Bercy arena for another year at least.
“I feel good, I’m in the final of a Masters, so I’m quite happy about that. And I have just beaten Rafa – that is never easy to do,” the winner said.
“The whole world will agree with me on that, all the players will agree with me on that.
“It’s going to be a final against Daniil. Obviously two best players of the tournament are still left.
“I’m happy about it. I think he’s quite happy about it. We’re both not going to
give each other anything tomorrow and we’ll see who can win.”
Zverev began with early breaks in each set but fell level as Nadal broke for 4-all in the second. The German broke again for 6-5 and closed out victory a game late after Nadal saved a match point.
Zverev has now won his last dozen matches,
“He’s playing great. He won two straight tournaments and played well here again,” Nadal said.
“I returned better than the other days, but he was serving bombs and hitting the right spots all the time.
“I was there until the end against a player who is playing great on a surface where he’s winning a lot. It’s (still) been a positive tournament for me.
“Of course I’m not happy about the loss, but that’s part of the game.”
Zverev ended with 13 aces while breaking three times. The 23-year-old is
the first German to reach the Rolex Paris Masters final in 25 years, since Boris Becker lost to Pete Sampras.
The three-time Masters 1000 champion has won 21 of 23 matches since the start of the US Open in August.