Nadal Falls In Return, Tsitsipas Tops Medvedev At ATP Finals; Federer Tries To Stay Alive Tues.
by Staff | November 11th, 2019, 7:29 pm
  • 19 Comments

Rafael Nadal returned to tournament play for the first time since his US Open title, but it didn’t go so well. In his opening match at the ATP Finals today in London, Nadal suffered his first career loss to Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal showed no signs of an ab injury which forced him out of Paris two weeks ago, but he didn’t have the sizzle on his fearsome forehand which misfired more than it connected. Instead, it was Zverev who was pounding forehands and was largely untroubled on serve cruising to an easy win, his first in six tries over the Spaniard.

“This means so much, playing here again after winning my biggest title so far in my career here last year. This means everything to me,” the defending champion Zverev said.

“I was looking forward to this match, and thanks a lot for all the support, everybody who came out… The atmosphere is the reason why everybody is trying, the goal of the beginning of the season is to make London. Because playing here, playing in front of you all, playing in The O2 is something that we don’t have during the year, and this is so special.”

Zverev has now beaten Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and now Nadal in his last three matches at the event. Today he hit 14 forehand winners to Nadal’s 3.

“The whole thing was about the serve,” Zverev said. “Obviously when I play this aggressive tennis, when I play this way, I have now beaten all three guys on this court, Big 3, so it shows that I can play very well and beat the top players.”

The loss also further opens the door for Djokovic to reclaim the No. 1 ranking back from Nadal. But at least he’s healthy.

“I did not feel pain in the abdominal at all,” Nadal said. “We can find reasons or excuses, but at the end of the day, what all really matters is I need to play much better in two days after tomorrow.”

Nadal now gets Daniil Medvedev Wednesday night.

In the early match, Stefanos Tsitsipas also reversed a 0-5 deficit to Medvedev beating the Russian 7-6(5), 6-4 in a near-flawless performance from the Greek.

”It’s one of the most important victories in my career so far. I gave myself a big boost today, kept believing, kept fighting. It’s such a relief,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s not easy coming in knowing you’ve lost five times before, but I made a deal with myself that I’ll keep trying until I get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10, 20 times.

”This victory means a lot to me and this crowd means a lot to me. So much love, so much support, Greek flags everywhere. It almost feels like I’m playing in Athens.”

On Tuesday, Djokovic returns to take on Dominic Thiem in a battle of Sunday winners. Thiem beat the Serb in the French semifinals.

“We know how good of a player he is on clay. He’s been proving that he can play equally well on other surfaces,” Djokovic said. “He’s already established Top 5, Top 10 player. We don’t need to talk about his qualities. Quality is great. His dedication and professionalism and hard work ethics is fantastic, and he’s a really nice guy. So all positive things about him.”

The Djokovic-Thiem winner could clinch a semifinal berth for Saturday.

And then Federer will try to stay in the semifinal hunt against Italian underdog Matteo Berrettini. After losing in straights to Thiem on Sunday, Federer will need a big win over Berrettini and then with Djokovic ahead, might need help from Berrettini against Thiem.

“It’s a normal tournament from here on forward. Not allowed to lose anymore,” Federer said. “That’s how it is every week of the year for the past 20 years, so from that standpoint there is nothing new there.

“Matteo, with his serve, with what he can do, obviously any opponent is dangerous here. He didn’t obviously have the best match against Novak. It’s probably also the toughest way to start off the Finals, playing Novak on the indoors, because he rarely has hiccups as well early on in tournaments,” Federer added. “But, yeah, I’ve got to recover, I’ve got to make sure I play better than today, and hopefully I can win that match.”

Federer is a perfect 16-0 in second matches at the event.

TUESDAY ATP FINALS LONDON SCHEDULE
Centre Court Starts At 12:00 Noon
RR 4 Rajeev Ram-Joe Salisbury v 8 Ivan Dodig-Filip Polasek
Not Before 2:00 Pm
RR 3 Roger Federer v 8 Matteo Berrettini
Not Before 6:00 Pm
RR 2 Lukasz Kubot-Marcelo Melo v 5 Raven Klaasen-Michael Venus
Not Before 8:00 Pm
RR 2 Novak Djokovic v 5 Dominic Thiem


You Might Like:
Thiem Tops Tsitsipas For Beijing Win
Wawrinka Falls In Sofia; Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Khachanov Headline
Kyrgios Claims Washington, Beats Medvedev For Second 2019 Title
Medvedev, Zverev Advance To Shanghai Final
Nadal Beats Tsitsipas At ATP Finals, But Comes Up Short In SF Bid; Zverev Makes Last 4

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

19 Comments for Nadal Falls In Return, Tsitsipas Tops Medvedev At ATP Finals; Federer Tries To Stay Alive Tues.

Czarlazar Says:

Well, the door is now open for Novak to not only win the tournament, which is expected, but also retake the number 1 ranking. Run the table from here on and it’s yours, champ. Next stop is Melbourne and GS # 17!


Daniel Says:

Federer keeps his peRFect record in round robin second matches, 17-0 with a clean straight sets victory.

If Thiem beats Djoko tonight he qualifies 1st in his group and the winner of Djoko x Fed qualifies second.

If Djoko beats Thiem, it all comes down to last match. Fed can beat Djoko and Thiem beats Berretin than its a 3 way tie and it will go dfown to sets won. Or Fed can beat Djoko and Berretin beats Thiem, than Fed 1st and Djoko second. Or Djoko beats Fed and Berretin beats Thiem than its a 3 way tie for second spot. Still open.

If Thiem wins a set even losing he can make his case better as he will have the easier match (on paper) vs Berretini.


Daniel Says:

Djokovic not playing important points better and Thiem raising the level in these moments. There were several 30-30 on Thiem’s gane and Novak couldn’t break. Even the last game.

Very high level match.


Van Persie Says:

best matchnof the tournament so far.
Dominic playing so good, … first time I think, Nole shows his age.
Good news, Dom got tired.


Van Persie Says:

Thiem to serve for the match.


chrisford1 Says:

VP – Shows his age, or shows the loss of stamina and quicker recuperation time due to his damned vegan diet?


Van Persie Says:

CF1,

Maybe both 🙂
TB it is


Daniel Says:

Wow Djoko. Amazing return, mini break up tiebreak. This shows how badly he wants #1.


Daniel Says:

Damm. 4-1 Djoko and now Thiem again with the match on his serve.


Van Persie Says:

They both wanted this match badly.

Congrats Thiem.
Good game, Nole! has to win against Fed now.


Daniel Says:

Somewhere Nadal is smiling. Djoko will have to beat Federer to qualify second, Thiem already qualified 1st and if Nadal wins next 2 matches and semis he secures year end #1 even if Djoko wins the title. Meaning Djoko and fans have to cheer Nadal to lose to Medveded just in case.


John Says:

Thiem proves he is a world class player and that he was robbed a slam by playing 4 days in a row in RG. To put that into prospective Djokovic beat Nadal in 5 almost lossing when he played 2 marathons in a row in 2012. Of cource Novak took his 4 in a row also thanks to RG lovely program in 2016. Federer in 2018… And Wawrinka, Cilic, Anderson, Del potro, Thiem… they try the hard way.


chofer Says:

Masterpiece.

Mssú has done what I have always asked of Thien. Back up that amazing kick serve with net play, bitch. He did.

He also has flatten his BH beautifully.

The downsize: his clay court acumen may suffer. But there’s plenty of time to receive serve 10 feet behind, no?

Djoko: The Rubberman couldn’t make his 3000th. Houdini act today.

But damn, that was close.


chofer Says:

Masterpiece.

Mssú has done what I have always asked of Thien. Back up that amazing kick serve with net play, **itch. He did.

He also has flatten his BH beautifully.

The downsize: his clay court acumen may suffer. But there’s plenty of time to receive serve 10 feet behind, no?

Djoko: The Rubberman couldn’t make his 3000th. Houdini act today.

But damn, that was close.
Most exciting tennis since middle of set three, US Open final.


RZ Says:

Wow, go Thiem!


Wog Boy Says:

Congratulations Thiem, what a statement, to beat two best indoor players on tour!
After watching him in Beijing I expected that, to be honest.


Daniel Says:

Thiem was also playing pretty close to the baseline adjust for fast conditions.


Django Says:

CF
Jelena and Novak will be happy eating their vegan diet food in the next few days in Maldives.
Prijatno


tylecuocbong Says:

perhaps lacking a bit of luck


Leave Your Comment [guidelines]

Top story: Spain Sweeps Canada For Sixth Davis Cup Title