Published: Sun, November 22, 2020
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Djokovic beats Zverev, advances to semifinals at ATP Finals

Djokovic beats Zverev, advances to semifinals at ATP Finals

The 27 year-old Austrian finally came through a odd encounter with the world number at the O2 Arena today, beating him 7-5 6-7 7-6 in almost three hours and on a sixth match point.

But he was quickly back in the groove and rallied from a desperate situation in the final-set tie-break, winning six successive points to earn two match points, taking the second of those.

Medvedev led Nadal 5-1 in the third set during a round-robin clash past year only to lose, while he was also beaten in five sets by the Spaniard in the 2019 US Open final.

Meanwhile, Nadal, who failed to advance to the last four a year ago, started this tournament with a routine dispatching of ATP Finals debutant Andrey Rublev (winner of the most ATP titles in 2020 with five in total) and beat the 2019 champion, Stefanos Tsitpisas, in a winner-takes-all contest after Nadal had lost to Thiem in two close sets.

Nadal, 20-time Grand Slam champion, looked on course to continue his quest for the season-ending titles after a comprehensive first-set win.

Both Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have beaten Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal this week and no one can deny them this fixture nor the title for one of them.

And it worked. The 27-year-old ran off seven of the last eight points to stun the World No. 1 for a second straight year in the last few minutes of play.

The Spanish world number two, who has never won the elite event in his illustrious career, faltered on Saturday when serving for the match in the second set and was beaten 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3. I thought after my first big title in NY maybe I'm going to be a little bit more calm but that was a mistake I guess.

"I was just as tight and as nervous as before. I'm incredibly happy to be through".

No. 2 Rafael Nadal was scheduled to face No. 4 Daniil Medvedev in the second semifinal.

He said he hopes to keep his good form going as he would need every bit of it to tame the Austrian.

After an aggressive start, Medvedev had three chances to break in game three, yet the Russian failed to take the opportunity to nose himself ahead.

After defeating Alexander Zverev to advance to reach the final four of the ATP Finals, Novak Djokovic said tennis authorities could adopt clearer policies on domestic abuse in light of allegations made against the U.S. Open runner-up by his ex-girlfriend. "I think it's going to be great tennis tomorrow", the Russian said. "I got so tight in the second-set tie-break because to play these legends is always going to be something special", said Thiem.

"All the match till 5-4 I felt like I was doing some good things but not enough, and I didn't feel inside myself, inside my mind, my game, the link between the shots, which I started feeling after I broke him", Medvedev told reporters.

"Hopefully I can play good like this". Dominic won his first Slam [and he is] playing unbelievable tennis right now.

Thiem leads the pair's head-to-head record 3-1.

With Rafa's serve looking shakier by the game and his net play falling off, Medvedev broke at 3-all and against for the match to win it 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 and reach his first career final at this tournament.

"We don't know what happened truly". And I also think he's returning better.

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