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GAME, SET AND MATCH! – DJOKOVIC 3-6 3-6 MEDVEDEV

ATP Finals
Why Medvedev is making low-key celebrations his ‘trademark’
24/11/2020 AT 11:59

More magnificent serving and Medvedev doesn’t show many nerves on his way to a wonderful victory over the world number one. The Russian served it out to 15, lashing a forehand winner to conclude after one hour and 21 minutes. He books his spot in the last four. Djokovic will meet Zverev in a shoot out to decide who will also qualify from this group.

Daniil Medvedev

Image credit: Getty Images

DJOKOVIC 3-6 3-5 MEDVEDEV

Djokovic does his part. He licks a slither of the baseline with a delicious backhand on his way to a simple love hold. Over to Medvedev now. Will he get nervy right at the death?

DJOKOVIC 3-6 2-5 MEDVEDEV

That was too easy. Splendid serving from the Russia’s world number four. He chalks up a love hold and is one game away from a HUGE victory and qualification to the semi finals.

DJOKOVIC 3-6 1-4 MEDVEDEV

‘Come on!’ That’s the roar of delight from Medvedev on consecutive points as he edges to another super hold from 30-30. Djokovic has thrown the kitchen sink at him at times, but so far he’s had the answers and played the big points brilliantly.

DJOKOVIC 3-6 1-3 MEDVEDEV

Nole starts with a fifth double fault of the night, but rallies hard from a 25th unforced error to turn around 15-30 with a series of well-constructed points and overhead smashes. He’s on the board and has finally stopped the rot.

DJOKOVIC 3-6 0-3 MEDVEDEV

That is equally demoralising for the world number one. He earns his first break opportunity with a stunning return and pick-up at the net. Medvedev seizes on a weak drop shot to stave it off and then finds the big serve from deuce to consolidate from a tricky situation.

BREAK! – DJOKOVIC 3-6 0-2 MEDVEDEV

There’s no doubt Djoker has been rattled here. He’s really on the ropes. He’s breathing heavy after some of those lengthy baseline exchanges and trying to force the issue when he can’t breach the Medvedev defence. The longer the point goes, the more likely Daniil is to come out on top. He comes unstuck again on a second break point from deuce and has lost six games in a row. Incredible.

DJOKOVIC 3-6 0-1 MEDVEDEV.

Blink and you probably missed that. Medvedev rides the momentum into set two by rattling through a love hold inside 60 seconds.

SET! - DJOKOVIC 3-6 MEDVEDEV

Djokovic corks a wonderful forehand winner down the line from shoulder height by the baseline – but that piece of genius is as good as it gets. He throws in three double faults, including one on set point, to tank badly at the death. Medvedev has been superb and takes a high quality first set.

DJOKOVIC 3-5 MEDVEDEV

That is mightily impressive from Daniil. He consolidates to 15 and is outgunning Djoker so far. The Serb has been playing really well too.

Daniil Medvedev

Image credit: Getty Images

BREAK! – DJOKOVIC 3-4 MEDVEDEV

Wow! That was an epic. Djokovic produces clutch serving after a double fault had seen him facing a couple of break points once again. He saves both but is put through the grinder with multiple deuces. Medvedev refuses to let the opportunity go and outlasts the Serb in a series of lung-busting rallies to lure a mistake on a third BP. Just the 11 and a half minutes there. Phew.

DJOKOVIC 3-3 MEDVEDEV

No look-in for Djoker this time. Medvedev reacts brilliantly to adjust and pass the Serb at the net in the opening point and doesn’t really look back. A double fault is the only blip as he comfortably levels matters.

DJOKOVIC 3-2 MEDVEDEV

Novak really does look ready for this one. His angles and length are dragging the Russian all over the place at times. Even his volleys are landing plumb.

DJOKOVIC 2-2 MEDVEDEV

Fortune favours the brave here. Medvedev comes under the cosh from 40-15 up as Djokovic sets his sights on dismantling the Russian’s defence. Daniil nails a 111mph second serve at deuce and then shows stretchy legs and arms akin to Djokovic himself to get out of a few points he looked certain to lose. A sweeping crosscourt forehand eventually sees him pull off an escape to reach parity.

Novak Djokovic

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DJOKOVIC 2-1 MEDVEDEV

The world number one stays calm to conjure up a hold from deuce. He had appeared on the ropes when faced with two break points. Medvedev picked off a drop shot before Nole lashed a scorching forehand just long. He did brilliantly to save both and motor through, particularly given the length of the rally on the second BP.

DJOKOVIC 1-1 MEDVEDEV

Big, big serving from Medvedev. He’ll need plenty more of that if he’s to triumph tonight. At 40-0 he goes big on the second serve, which was a striking element of his win in Cincinnati last year. This time he double faults, but shrugs it off by taking the game via another missile of a first serve.

DJOKOVIC 1-0 MEDVEDEV

Nole races out of the traps with a crisp run of points. He looks rather sharp. Daniil lures two errors out of him in response, but can’t do enough on the following point to make any further inroads.

Coin toss

Medvedev wins it and chooses to receive. Time for the warm up.

Views from the baseline

Djoker on Daniil's style: "This kind of consistency and this kind of solid game from back of the court, big serves got him to where he is. He deserves to be there.”

Medvedev: "I like to play against Novak. We have tough matches. I think in these conditions we have here, we can have a lot of long rallies. We are both going to run well.”

Head to head

Djokovic leads the match-up 4-2 and claimed victory in the most recent encounter at January’s ATP Cup semi final. Medvedev won the two prior to that at the 2019 Monte Carlo and Cincinnati Masters respectively.

Next up - the world number one

Okay, who’s ready for more tennis? It’s almost time for the second singles match of Day 4 with world number one Novak Djokovic taking on the world No.4 Daniil Medvedev. Both players won their opening Group Tokyo 1970 matches on Monday and can qualify tonight with the right result. Zverev's win means Djokovic will advance to the semi-finals if he beats Medvedev in straight sets. Medvedev will go through with any win.

GAME, SET AND MATCH! – ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 6-3 SCHWARTZMAN

Diego can’t pose the serve-out question and dumps a tight forehand into the net to hand the match to Sascha on his first match point. The German lost his way slightly in Set 2 but recovered in the decider to earn the victory in two hours and 11 minutes. He remains in the hunt to make the last four but will meet Djokovic next.

Alexander Zverev of Germany breaks serve during his singles match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on Day 4 of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena

Image credit: Getty Images

ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 5-3 SCHWARTZMAN

Sascha maintains his grip on this final set with another dominant service game. He's one away from victory now.

ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 4-3 SCHWARTZMAN

A huge roar from Diego. He refuses to give in here. It looked like he was done at 15-40, but he doesn’t want to touch rackets at the net just yet. He wriggles out of danger from deuce to stay alive for now.

ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 4-2 SCHWARTZMAN

Sascha consolidates with a solid hold to 15. He can see the finish line again now, but needs to stay in the zone.

BREAK! – ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 3-2 SCHWARTZMAN

In answer to my previous question – it’s Diego. The Argentine looks to his team in anguish as he hooks a tame attempt on the stretch into the net. He’s forced into sliced defence as Zverev dictates the point to snare a couple of break opportunities quite brilliantly. The German then clinches the game with a wonderful angled volley on the move.

ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 2-2 SCHWARTZMAN

Zverev ensure he stays toe-to-toe with another clinical love hold. Looks like the calm before the storm. Who is going to blink first?

ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 1-2 SCHWARTZMAN

Still with serve in the early sparring of this decider. Schwartzman is a completely different proposition now.

ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 1-1 SCHWARTZMAN

Mini alarm bells would have been ringing in Zverev’s head at 0-15 but he recovers splendidly to reel off the next four points and level matters with ease.

ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 0-1 SCHWARTZMAN

The momentum stays firmly with the world number nine. He blitzes a wrong-footing forehand down the German’s left wing to claim a hold to 30 to kick off the deciding set in style.

SET! – ZVEREV 6-3 4-6 SCHWARTZMAN

Zverev smashes a ball into the stands in frustration. He gets a warning, but he’ll be more concerned that El Peque has levelled the match. The Argentine really found his return game to tee up double set point. A blistering ace saved one, but Schwartzman got a big serve back on the second and duly forced an error just long by staying in the rally. Super stuff from the Argentine.

ZVEREV 6-3 4-5 SCHWARTZMAN

Diego is showing some of the form that saw him make such a late charge to make it to these finals. He ghosts into the net to put away a smart volley before unloading a crosscourt forehand winner on his way to a convincing hold.

ZVEREV 6-3 4-4 SCHWARTZMAN

No drama this time around. Zverev rampages through a quick-fire love hold. What a contrast to his last service game!

ZVEREV 6-3 3-4 SCHWARTZMAN

There’s a roar of delight and a pump of the fist from the Argentine as he nudges the board in his favour with a fine hold. He’s kept plugging away and when his opponent’s level has dipped, he’s made sure he has been ready to take advantage.

BREAK! – ZVEREV 6-3 3-3 SCHWARTZMAN

Just when it looked like Zverev had focus and control, he throws in an awful service game. Schwartzman has three shots at a break and earns the reprieve on his second. All square in Set 2.

Alexander Zverev

Image credit: Getty Images

ZVEREV 6-3 3-2 SCHWARTZMAN

There’s certainly been a sense of déjà vu about this for Schwartzman. Not only in being largely second best on an indoor court against Zverev once again, but also in the way this match has followed a similar pattern to his opener against Djokovic. He had the early break there and fell away. Now he’s trying to stop that happening here, but he’s having to put in some serious shifts just to hold. He gets it done under pressure from deuce here to stay in contention.

ZVEREV 6-3 3-1 SCHWARTZMAN

Zverev takes firm control of the match, consolidating the break with a rampant hold to love. The pick of the points comes when he back pedals on the run and reaches into the clouds to flash down a super smash.

BREAK! – ZVEREV 6-3 2-1 SCHWARTZMAN

Diego screams in dismay as he hooks a forehand well wide. You can’t blame him either, after his hard work to save two of three break points proves to be in vain.

ZVEREV 6-3 1-1 SCHWARTZMAN

Well, that wasn’t too pretty, but Zverev gets the job done in the end. He’s coasting at 40-0 but allows Schwartzman to drag himself back and make a real scrap of it from deuce. The German lobs long to hand his opponent a break point, but snatches it away instantly with a rasping ace before eventually getting on the board.

ZVEREV 6-3 0-1 SCHWARTZMAN

That’s a very important hold for El Peque. He’s made to battle hard to dig it out from 15-40, with two disappointing misses off the Zverev forehand helping him along the way.

SET! - ZVEREV 6-3 SCHWARTZMAN

The pressure of serving for the set niggles away at first and Zverev throws in another double fault. He then drills a very make-able forehand long before a wonderful crosscourt pass on the run gives Diego hope of snaring a break back. The German refuses to allow it to happen though and charges through four points in a row to take the set in 39 minutes.

Alexander Zverev

Image credit: Getty Images

ZVEREV 5-3 SCHWARTZMAN.

A rare service winner stops the rot for the Argentine as he eases to a hold to 15. Zverev will now serve for Set 1.

ZVEREV 5-2 SCHWARTZMAN

In contrast, Zverev serves freely with the cushion of the double break. He backs it up with a comfortable love hold.

BREAK! – ZVEREV 4-2 SCHWARTZMAN

Too many errors from Schwartzman. His first serve percentage is too low and it’s piling pressure on him. He leaks errors from deep, firing long in quick succession to cough up another break. All of the media talk is about Sascha’s second serve, but Diego’s is way below par here too.

ZVEREV 3-2 SCHWARTZMAN

Some nice work from the baseline and it’s all fine when the first serve lands. Zverev comes through a simple enough hold, but a double fault at 40-15 will mean that nagging awareness of its weakness won’t be going away any time soon.

BREAK! – ZVEREV 2-2 SCHWARTZMAN

More hard work on serve for Diego and this time he can’t squirm free. Zverev balloons a second serve return at 30-30 but some crisp crosscourt backhands force an error to reach deuce. A double fault hands the German a break point before an exquisite forehand winner earns him the game.

BREAK! – ZVEREV 1-2 SCHWARTZMAN

The second serve woes strike for Sascha as a double fault gifts El Peque two break points. The trusty first serve saves one, but he can’t save the second as a he blocks long with a volley at the net.

Diego Schwartzman

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ZVEREV 1-1 SCHWARTZMAN

Diego leaks some uncharacteristic errors from the baseline and coughs up an immediate break point. He stays in the ensuing rally with some nice variety and use of slice to lure a mistake before a cracking backhand down the line helps him to come through an early test unscathed.

ZVEREV 1-0 SCHWARTZMAN

No sign of the issues on serve for Zverev in the opener as he cannons down some stonking first serve winners. The backhand misfires a few times, but a serve and volley combo works well enough to clinch the game.

Coin toss

Schwartzman wins the toss and opts to receive first. Cue the warm up.

On court - Zverev v Schwartzman coming up

Good news. Zverev and Schwartzman have arrived on court. Not long until we get down to business now.

Will Nadal-Thiem be the match of the tournament?

Hard to see this afternoon's match living up to the heights of yesterday's Nadal-Thiem encounter, but we can hope for an engaging encounter between contrasting styles. Djokovic v Medvedev could be tasty later too.

Doubles delight

There's been a delay to the singles as the first doubles match has only just concluded.

ATP stats

Zverev is making his fourth straight Nitto ATP Finals appearance but is 0-3 in second round robin matches. The 2018 champion has a 7-6 career record at the O2 Arena. Schwartzman, who lost in the QF in Paris, is trying to avoid his first three-match losing run of the season. Schwartzman arrived in London having won 15 of 20 matches since a 1R loss at the US Open.

Views from the baseline

Zverev: “I need to be better on court. Now I can't afford to lose. I need to beat Diego, I need to beat Djokovic to have a chance to go to the semi-finals. I'm going to try to do that.”

Schwartzman: “At this stage, I know I need to be at the highest level, so I’ve been training hard and I have almost my entire team with me here these past few days. But without a doubt I’m really enjoying my time here, and enjoying this spot that I earned. I watched all of the matches and I enjoyed the spectacle of it and all the global buzz that generates around each match.”

Permutations for the group

Djokovic qualifies if he wins and Schwartzman beats Zverev. Or if he wins in straight sets and Zverev triumphs in 3.

Medvedev qualifies if he wins and Zverev beats Schwartzman. Or if he wins in straight sets and Schwartzman pciks up a victory in 3

Head to head

The match-up stands at 2-2 with Zverev winning both of their indoor hard court meetings. The German eased to a 6-2 6-1 victory in the Cologne final recently.

Day Four action imminent

Hello and welcome to LIVE updates of the first singles match of Day 4 at the 2020 ATP World Tour finals. It’s 2018 winner, Alexander Zverev against tournament debutant, Diego Schwartzman. Both players lost their opening Group Tokyo 1970 matches and cannot afford defeat here if they are to realistically keep their hopes of making the semis alive. Later, Novak Djokovic meets Daniil Medvedev.

DAY THREE RECAP

Dominic Thiem shocked Rafael Nadal in their round-robin match in the ATP Finals, 7-6(7), 7-6(4).

Nadal was hoping to make it two wins out of two as he continued his campaign for a title he has never yet won - but in a tremendous contest, Thiem proved the more precise.

"I think it was a great match from the first to the last point," said Thiem afterwards.

I was lucky to get the first set...against Rafa it's nice to win the first set, but he's there until the last point. I had to stay super-focused."

He took an enthralling first set to a tie-break - in which Nadal did have set point.

The Austrian's backhand down the line presented plenty of problems throughout - and he raced through the second set to grab three set points at 5-4.

But Nadal's tenacity meant he saved all three and went on to take the game, winning five straight points with a combination of a tweener and excellent lobbing.

And although the world number two started the second-set tie-break in strong style, Thiem hit back, using the width of the court to leave Nadal stranded, and eventually taking the match.

Thiem beat reigning champion Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in his opening round-robin match and will qualify for the semi-finals if Tsitsipas beats Russia's Andrey Rublev later.

ATP Finals - Wednesday order of play

Not before 12:00

  • Pavic/Soares [1] v Granollers/Zeballos [4]

Not before 14:00

  • Zverev (GER) [5] v Schwartzman [8]

Not before 18:00

  • Peers/Venus [6] v Melzer/Roger-Vasselin [7]

Not before 20:00

  • Djokovic [1] v Medvedev [4]

----

ATP Finals - results

Sunday

Men's doubles

  • Koolhof/Mektic (5) beat Krawietz/Mies (3) 6-7(3) 7-6(4) 10-7
  • Salisbury/Ram (2) beat Kubot/Melo (8) 7-5 3-6 10-5

Men's singles

  • Thiem (3) beat Tsitsipas (6) 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3
  • Nadal (2) beat Rublev (7) 6-3 6-4

Monday

Men's doubles

  • Granollers/Zeballos (4) beat Peers/Venus 7-6 7-5
  • Pavic/Soares (1) vs Melzer/Roger-Vasselin (7) 6-7 6-1 10-4

Men's singles

  • Djokovic (1) beat Schwartzman (8) 6-3 6-2
  • Medvedev (4) beat Zverev (5) 6-3 6-4

Who is playing?

The eight singles players competing at this year’s ATP Finals will be Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman.

This year qualification is based on the ATP rankings (excluding points gained at last year’s ATP Finals) rather than a ‘Race to London’ ranking due to the disrupted season.

What’s the schedule?

The tournament at London's O2 Arena runs from November 15 to November 22.

There will be two singles matches played every day before the semi-finals on Saturday, November 21 and the final on Sunday, November 22.

What are the groups?

Group Tokyo 1970

  • Novak Djokovic
  • Daniil Medvedev
  • Alexander Zverev
  • Diego Schwartzman

Group London 2020

  • Rafael Nadal
  • Dominic Thiem
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas
  • Andrey Rublev

What’s the format?

The eight singles players are divided into two four-player groups, with each player facing their three group rivals and the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals. Standings are determined by number of wins and if players are tied then it is decided on by their head-to-head record.

Rublev, who has won five titles in 2020, and Schwartzman, will be competing at the finals for the first time. There will be four players aged 24 and under for the second straight year.

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