A terrified ball boy at the Shanghai Masters had no idea what was going through Alexander Zverev's mind after the 21-year-old claimed a crucial point over opponent Nicoloz Basilashvili.

An aggressive fist pump from the World No 5 had the young boy rocking back in fear — and it may just be the next great sporting meme.

The fourth-seeded Zverev was also struggling with a cold, but he beat Basilashvili 7-5, 6-4.

Basilashvili arrived in Shanghai after beating del Potro in Beijing to win his second career title.

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"I played an opponent who has a lot of confidence," Zverev said. "Obviously he's playing the best tennis of his life, winning in Beijing, and obviously he had a very good match yesterday,as well.

"He knows how to play, definitely. Probably the hardest-hitting player I have ever played against."

Zverev is playing in Shanghai without his coach, Ivan Lendl, who was in Beijing last week. Lendl flew back to the United States to have wrist surgery, which Zverev said was caused by playing too much golf. Lendl is due to return to the tour before the end of the season.

- With AAP.