LONDON: As a substitute of No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal for the ATP Finals trophy, it will be No. 3 Dominic Thiem in opposition to No. 4 Daniil Medvedev.
Nadal had received 71 matches in a row when grabbing the opening set, and he served for the victory in Saturday’s semifinals when main 5-4 within the second set. However Medvedev broke at love there and got here all the way in which again to win 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
That got here after Thiem frittered away 4 match factors in his semifinal in opposition to Djokovic as a result of he was “tight and nervous” throughout a second-set tiebreaker. Thiem gathered himself and finally reeled off seven of the match’s final eight factors after trailing 4-0 within the final tiebreaker, profitable 7-5, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (5).

“What he did from 0-4 within the third-set tiebreaker was simply unreal,” mentioned Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion. “I do not assume I performed dangerous. … He simply crushed the ball and every little thing went in.”
Thiem ended Djokovic’s bid for a record-tying sixth ATP Finals trophy, whereas Medvedev prevented Nadal from persevering with to pursue essentially the most vital title the 20-time main champ hasn’t received.
Nadal appeared on his approach to the ultimate when he reeled off 4 consecutive video games within the second set to provide himself the prospect to serve for the match. He surprisingly stumbled there.

As soon as he was again within the match, Medvedev took benefit, dominating the following tiebreaker with the assistance of a shanked lob winner, a forehand winner that claimed a 26-stroke change and a leaping backhand that drew a netted forehand.
Nadal could not shake that off, dropping the match’s final three video games as he serve-and-volleyed greater than traditional, sliced his backhand greater than traditional and made forehand errors greater than traditional.
Medvedev had been 0-3 in opposition to Nadal, together with a five-set loss within the 2019 U.S. Open ultimate, and the lanky 24-year-old Russian’s top-notch serve, succesful backhand and willingness to hold in lengthy baseline rallies offered Saturday’s breakthrough.
A 12 months in the past, Medvedev went 0-3 in round-robin play on the ATP Finals, whereas Thiem was the runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Whoever wins Sunday on the indoor onerous court docket _ the place issues shall be quiet as a result of spectators are banned as a result of coronavirus pandemic _ would be the event’s sixth completely different champion over the previous six years, the longest such stretch since 1974-79.
It was the primary time since 2004 that the highest 4 gamers within the rankings crammed the 4 semifinal slots for the ATP Finals. Djokovic, already assured of ending the 12 months ranked No. 1 for a record-tying sixth time, was making an attempt to match Roger Federer’s mark of six ATP Finals trophies.
Within the second set in opposition to Djokovic, Thiem’s ace put him forward 6-5 within the tiebreaker, one level from victory.
However Djokovic saved that preliminary likelihood with a 127 mph service winner. Thiem’s subsequent alternative to win got here at 7-6, however he double-faulted.

“I used to be, like, so tight in my complete physique,” Thiem mentioned.
The third was at 9-8, when he pushed a down-the-line forehand vast. At 10-9, Djokovic erased No. 4 with a forehand that landed proper on a line.
That started a three-point run by Djokovic to steal the set.
However Thiem regrouped and his three hundredth profession tour-level victory made him solely the second man with at the very least 5 wins every in opposition to the Massive Three of Djokovic (5-7 profession mark), Federer (5-2) and Nadal (6-9). Andy Murray is the opposite.
“When you beat these guys,” Thiem mentioned, “it offers you an enormous enhance of confidence.”
Notice: Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares clinched the year-end No. 1 crew rating for males’s doubles when the opposite contenders, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, misplaced in Saturday’s semifinals to Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.





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