Daniil Medvedev claimed his fifth straight victory against Alexander Zverev after winning a final set tie-break in a frosty encounter at the ATP Finals in Turin.
Zverev had clawed his way back into the match and led 4-2 in the third set breaker, but could not end his hoodoo against the Russian. Medvedev recovered to come through 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(6) to go top of Red Group.
"Definitely one of the matches to remember,” said Medvedev. "When you win 8-6 in the tie-break in the third, it was 4-2 for him so I was like OK, he serves a few aces it’s done. I made it 6-4 and I was like OK, 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.
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"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...Just an amazing feeling. Not actually much to say about the match, just amazing.”
The pair were playing their second matches after both had enjoyed wins on Monday. Zverev had beaten Matteo Berrettini, who retired hurt, while Medvedev came from a set down to take the win against Hubert Hurkacz.
Medvedev this time went up in the first set, as Zverev struggled to force any danger, often appearing to play it safe because he could not trust his own serves.
Medvedev quickly raced into a 3-0 lead with a level his German opponent struggled to match. The Russian world number two needed just 38 minutes to take the set 6-3.
Zverev had never won a match at the ATP Finals after losing the first set, nor had he ever beaten Medvedev in the same circumstances, but he held onto his service games far more confidently in the second set to tee up a tie-break, even if he was having to work far harder than his rival to keep parity.
Things were evenly poised when a foot fault gave Zverev a mini-break in the set decider - and threatened to test Medvedev’s patience - and the German did not look back, pressing forward with his serves and levelling the match.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacts

Image credit: Getty Images

The decisive set started just as the second had ended, with both players aggressive with their serves but unable to break the other.
Zverev earned the first break point of the set at 5-5 but Medvedev wriggled out of trouble and soon forced a tie-break.
After a match that had seen just one break of serve, the tie-break was a far crazier affair as the pair traded four mini breaks in the first eight points.
A bulldozing return on a second serve teed up two match points for Medvedev at 6-4, only for Zverev to dismiss the first and then fire a stunning return of his own as the Russian attempted to serve-volley.
Medvedev did not have to wait long for another opportunity after blasting a forehand down the line for 7-6. This time he made no mistake, forcing Zverev into a tired shot into the net to triumph.
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