Daniil Medvedev won his 7th straight match at the ATP Finals edging out rival Alexander Zverev in a thriller 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(6).
Medvedev rolled in the opener, breaking Zverev to start the match. In the second set, the match was even until the breaker when Medvedev was called for a foot fault at 1-2. The review confirmed and Medvedev was not pleased, and crowd let him have it.
Zverev took advantage of the distraction and forced a decider. But in the final set breaker, Medvedev was the aggressor taking it on his third match point.
“Definitely one of the matches to remember,” Medvedev said. “When you win 8-6 in the tie-break in the third, it was 4-2 for him so I was like okay, he serves a few aces it’s done. I made it 6-4 and I was like okay, that’s my moment now. It’s back to 6-6, you get really tight, because I wanted to make a brave move on the 6-5 second serve and volley, didn’t work out at all.
“He made an amazing shot. You are like maybe I should have stayed at the baseline. If I lose the match because of this it’s going to be tough.”
Medvedev has now won his last five matches against Zverev, and all but assures himself a spot in the weekend semifinal knockout stage.
Medvedev will meet Jannik Sinner on Thursday. Sinner was a late replacement for countryman Matteo Berrettini who had to withdraw from the event due to an oblique injury. The 20-year-old Sinner made the most of his call-up, topping Hubert Hurkacz with ease 6-2, 6-2 in an impressive debut.
“I knew around 5 that I would play,” Sinner said. “I was ready to go on court. It is an incredible feeling playing here in Italy with thousands of people cheering for you and I am trying my best. I will enjoy the moment. I played well and felt good in the warm up. It was an incredible match today.”
Sinner is still able to qualify for the semifinals but he’ll have to beat Medvedev to have a chance.
Hurkacz will meet Zverev on Thursday with an eye on reaching the semifinal.
“I just try to stay focused on my next match and trying to play great tennis,” Sinner said. “That’s my first goal, because if you want to win against Daniil, you have to play your best tennis. He’s No. 2 in the world. He won a Grand Slam this year and a lot of tournaments, as well. So it’s going to be a tough challenge.”
Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic returns to meet Andrey Rublev. And Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Casper Ruud with the loser potentially out of the event.
“He’s one of the greatest players in history, so I don’t know what to say,” Rublev said on Monday. “I hope I’m gonna win couple of games, but, no, but reality is the only thing I can do is to do my best and believe in myself. That’s it. Not much to say.”
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