The third-seeded Russian secured just his second win against the fourth-seeded Zverev in seven matches, and his previous victory against the imposing German was also in a Masters final last year in Shanghai.
The battle between first-time finalists here and the last two US Open runners-up went with serve — and with no break points — until Zverev broke Medvedev in the 12th game to take the opening set.
When Medvedev hit a forehand long on that point, Zverev let out a loud roar that pierced the silence at a Bercy Arena left empty by the coronavirus pandemic.
Medvedev’s relentless accuracy from the baseline induced a loose shot from Zverev in the ninth game of the second set when he hit long from the back of the court. Medvedev’s pinpoint returning is among the best on the ATP Tour, and that chipped away at Zverev’s confidence as he won only 57% of points on first serve compared to 75% for Medvedev.
Medvedev held to love and clinched the second set with his 13th ace, then took control when Zverev padded a weak forehand into the net and was broken to love. After Zverev missed four break-point chances in the next game, he was punished when Medvedev broke him for a 3-0 lead.
Medvedev clinched the victory on his second match point when Zverev double-faulted for the third time in the match.
They could meet again at the season-ending ATP Finals in London from Nov. 15-22.