Rublev beats already-qualified Thiem at ATP Finals – tennis

The lights went out unexpectedly at the O2 Arena, inflicting the beginning of the match between Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals to be delayed Thursday. The already-qualified Thiem was in need of vitality, too, when play ultimately started.

The U.S. Open champion misplaced to Rublev 6-2, 7-5 in a contest that had little actual consequence for both participant, with Thiem assured of being the winner of the group after earlier victories over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal and his Russian opponent unable to qualify for the semifinals after again-to-again losses.

“It was difficult to keep that amazing intensity like I had in the first two matches,” Thiem stated. “I wanted to win the match, 100%, but the first two matches were pretty tough, pretty long.

“So with the fact I was already qualified, in the back on my mind it was difficult to keep the intensity alive.”

Thiem stated the loss to Rublev was “not painful at all.”

“I’m focused on Saturday now,” he stated.

Tsitsipas and Nadal will meet later Thursday to determine who advances together with Thiem.

Rublev performed like somebody with nothing to lose, overwhelming Thiem along with his serve and fierce groundstrokes to take the Austrian’s first two service video games and clinch the primary set in lower than 26 minutes. He dropped solely three factors on serve and had no unforced errors in that set.

The second set was a lot nearer, although Rublev was on high and serving at 4-3 when he misplaced eight straight factors to get again on serve.

Rublev regrouped, broke Thiem after a protracted subsequent recreation that includes some intense rallies, then served out the match for his first win in his debut at the season-ending event.

“It was not easy for Dommy,” stated Rublev, who has gained 5 occasions on the tour this 12 months in a breakthrough season. “I think he (was) focused on the semis. I wish him good luck — he deserves to be where he is and he deserves to win the title.”

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Medvedev storms back to beat Thiem and claim ATP Finals title – tennis

Daniil Medvedev barged to the pinnacle of the queue of younger pretenders because the Russian captured the most important title of his profession by beating Dominic Thiem 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 in an absorbing climax to London’s final ATP Finals on Sunday.

Thiem was heading in the right direction to develop into the primary Austrian to win the title, following on from his latest U.S. Open triumph, however the relentless Medvedev turned the tide to strike a blow for the brand new era striving to shake up the tennis hierarchy.

There was no huge celebration as he fired an unreturnable first serve on match level to finish the 2 hours and 42 minutes scrap, bringing the curtain down on 12 memorable years on the O2 Arena earlier than Turin takes over as host of the event.

Fittingly the London period ended because it started with a Russian winner after Nikolay Davydenko took the 2009 title.

Sadly for an occasion that attracted 2.8 million followers through the years to the Thames-side area, the finale, a classic version, performed out in a silent area due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the thousands and thousands watching on TV can have appreciated the talent of Medvedev, who grew to become solely the fourth participant in ATP historical past to beat the world’s prime three on the similar event.

He joins David Nalbandian (Madrid 2007), Novak Djokovic (Montreal 2007) and Boris Becker (Stockholm 1994).

“It’s amazing,” Medvedev, who earned $1.56 million as an unbeaten champion, advised reporters. “I beat Novak (in the group), Rafa in the semis and Dominic, the best players in tennis right now. It shows what I’m capable of.”

IMAGINATIVE GAME

Medvedev’s imaginative recreation, a mix of sledgehammer energy, crafty angles and unreadable serving, proved past Djokovic within the group part and then second-ranked Rafael Nadal in Saturday’s semi-ultimate.

The 27-12 months-previous Thiem appeared to have mastered it however in the end was overwhelmed.

“I think Dominic was a little tired in the third set and to make him tired in a three-set match is tough,” Medvedev stated.

His triumph got here a 12 months after a chastening three defeats on his debut. The solely different participant to obtain such a drastic turnaround is Djokovic in 2008.

After such a scorching streak, together with claiming this month’s Paris Masters, the Moscovite was due a dip and it arrived within the first set as he threw away a 40-0 lead on serve at 2-2, gifting Thiem a break with a double-fault.

It proved sufficient for Thiem to pocket the primary set and he went for the short kill within the second as Medvedev’s normally rock-stable serve and forehand wavered.

MENACING MEDVEDEV

The Russian hung powerful although, saving break factors at 2-2 and 3-3, and started to look menacing because the tiebreak arrived.

Thiem led 2-0 however Medvedev reeled off seven factors in a row to guarantee London’s farewell would go the gap.

Thiem, who had additionally overwhelmed Nadal and Djokovic this week, had spent two extra hours on court docket than Medvedev to attain the ultimate and his silky recreation started to fray.

Medvedev stalked him together with his energy and accuracy and the Russian secured the very important break of serve at 2-2 with a stealthy method and volleyed winner.

Thiem dug in however world quantity 4 Medvedev by no means appeared like letting his lead slip as he grew to become the fifth successive first-time winner of the title.

Medvedev’s friends Alexander Zverev, 23, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, 22, gained the final two titles right here however neither have gone on to claim a Grand Slam.

Medvedev will enter 2021 as the person most certainly to make that breakthrough for the a lot-hyped subsequent era.

“For tennis there are exciting times coming,” Thiem stated of the brand new vanguard. “Super important for the sport in general.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis/Ken Ferris/Paul Simao)

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Nadal adapts, ATP Finals title still remains elusive – tennis

In the seventh recreation of the deciding set in opposition to Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal resorted to serve and volley thrice, dropping the purpose every time because the volley wasn’t brief sufficient, handing Medvedev the break at 3-3. But consider it: when was the final time one noticed Nadal serve and volley thrice in a single recreation, or perhaps a set?

The Spaniard’s first semi-ultimate in 5 years on the ATP Finals resulted in defeat, failing to serve out for the match in a 6-3, 6-7(4), 3-6 loss to the on-music Russian in London on Saturday evening. It meant his huge trophy cupboard still has one huge vacuum—the season-ending indoor arduous-courtroom title fought by the highest eight males.

Nadal has 86 profession singles titles, zero on the ATP Finals. Zero regardless of qualifying for the celebrated occasion for 16 seasons; solely Roger Federer (18) has made the lower extra instances, and he has six titles to flaunt. Out of the 9 earlier appearances (an damage-susceptible Nadal has pulled out of the occasion six instances), the Spaniard has had 4 group stage exits.

It’s a title Nadal has craved for, regardless of profitable actually in all places else. It’s a title for which Nadal, even at 34, confirmed willingness to make tactical adjustments to his tried, examined and environment friendly recreation that has rewarded him with document-setting feats throughout surfaces. “This event is a big one and I am going to keep fighting for it,” he stated earlier than the match.

This yr, Nadal didn’t simply attempt to keep afloat and combat, however got here up with methods to dictate play on an indoor floor the place he has a grand complete of 1 title (2005 Madrid). In all his 4 matches, Nadal unveiled totally different methods, making delicate adjustments to his recreation type not often seen from the claycourt maestro.

In his first spherical robin tie in opposition to in-kind Andrey Rublev, Nadal persistently positioned himself contained in the baseline to return the Russian’s second serves. The sight of Nadal nearly touching the promoting boards to obtain serve on the crimson filth is widespread, however not in opposition to Rublev on the low-bouncing London arduous courtroom. The outcome? Nadal received 13 out of twenty-two factors whereas returning the second serve, the standout stat in his 6-3, 6-4 thrashing of Rublev.

Against Dominic Thiem, one of many few gamers who can match Nadal when it comes to high quality and amount from the baseline, the Spaniard took the onus of shortening the factors. He rushed to the online on 20 events, succeeding 14 instances. Nadal had two set factors within the first set and was finally overwhelmed in two shut tie-breakers; however not earlier than forcing the US Open champion to play at “a little bit higher level than at the US Open”, as Thiem analysed. “I think my chances are bigger to have a very good result now,” Nadal stated about his match prospects after that recreation.

In the knockout match with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nadal knew which space of his recreation wanted to be at its sharpest in opposition to a participant who doesn’t possess the perfect returns among the many high guys—the primary serve. The southpaw placed on a serving masterclass—a wholesome 65 per cent first serves in and an much more spectacular 80 per cent factors received on first serve—to storm into his first semi-ultimate in London since 2015.

There he met an opponent who was coming off an indoor title in Paris and who hadn’t dropped a set within the group stage, together with in opposition to the highest-ranked Novak Djokovic. Against Medvedev, Nadal typically deployed the serve and volley, and continuously sliced the ball off his backhand to not give the Russian any tempo to fireplace his ammunition. Leading 6-3, 5-4, it gave the impression to be working with Nadal on target for his first ultimate spot since 2013. But an unusually steep drop in stage whereas serving for the match noticed him damaged to like. Shot within the arm acquired, the large-putting Medvedev bagged the second set tie-breaker and dominated the out-of-fuel Spaniard within the decider.

“I played a bad game. That’s it. But I had a big opportunity. I lost a big opportunity,” Nadal stated.

An alternative whereas feeling bodily contemporary owing to the pandemic-shortened season; a possibility whereas taking part in out of his consolation zone that confirmed he can compete once more for that one lacking crown.

“I don’t want to pretend to be arrogant at all, because I am not. But I really don’t need to show even to myself or to no one that if I am playing my best tennis, I think I can win in every surface and against any player,” Nadal stated.

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Thiem gets past Djokovic in 3-set semifinal at ATP Finals – tennis

Dominic Thiem ended Novak Djokovic’s bid for a file-tying sixth ATP Finals title, beating the highest-ranked participant 7-5, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (5) in the semifinals Saturday by grabbing seven of the final eight factors.

Thiem may have closed issues greater than an hour earlier, however he frittered away 4 match factors in the second-set tiebreaker, together with one by double-faulting.

Then the U.S. Open champion trailed 4-0 in the final tiebreaker earlier than turning issues round. When it ended with Djokovic crusing a forehand lengthy, Thiem dropped his racket and coated his face together with his fingers.

“It was, for sure, a mental battle,” Thiem mentioned.

The No. 3-ranked Thiem’s three hundredth profession match win put him in the ultimate of the season-ending match for the second straight 12 months; he was runner-as much as Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2019.

No. 2 Rafael Nadal was scheduled to face No. 4 Daniil Medvedev in Saturday’s second semifinal. The closing is Sunday. None of the final three males in the sector has gained the match, that means there will likely be a sixth completely different champion over the past six years, the longest such stretch since 1974-79.

It’s the primary time since 2004 — when Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin did it — that the highest 4 gamers in the rankings stuffed the 4 semifinal slots for the ATP Finals.

This 12 months’s group is sort of a quartet: They mixed to win the past 10 Grand Slam males’s singles titles and the final 9 Masters 1000 trophies.

Djokovic, already assured of ending the 12 months ranked No. 1 for a file-tying sixth time, was making an attempt to match Federer’s mark of six ATP Finals trophies. A title additionally would have made Djokovic, at 33, the oldest champion in match historical past; Federer was 30 in 2011.

In Saturday’s rematch of February’s Australian Open closing, in which Djokovic beat Thiem in 5 units, there have been loads of lengthy baseline exchanges on the indoor laborious courtroom — the place issues had been quiet as a result of spectators had been banned because of the coronavirus pandemic — and few break probabilities for both participant.

Thiem confronted three break factors and saved all of them, fairly an achievement towards supreme returner Djokovic. And whereas Thiem managed to provide solely a pair of break factors, he used a kind of to take a 6-5 lead in the opening set.

In the second, Thiem’s ace put him forward 6-5 in the tiebreaker, one level from victory.

But Djokovic saved that preliminary probability with a 127 mph service winner. Thiem’s subsequent alternative to win got here at 7-6, however he double-faulted. The third was at 9-8, when he pushed a down-the-line forehand large. And then, at 10-9, Djokovic erased No. 4 with a forehand that landed proper on a line.

That started a 3-level run by Djokovic to steal the set and delay the match. He wanted 4 set factors in all to take action, however got here by when Thiem netted a backhand.

Afterward, Thiem acknowledged he was “tight and nervous” in that part. He regrouped, although, and got here by in the clutch an hour later.

Thiem is now solely the second man with at least 5 victories every towards Djokovic (5-7 profession mark), Nadal (6-9) and Federer (5-2). Andy Murray is the opposite.

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Djokovic reaches ATP Finals semis, Nadal showdown still on – tennis

London’s farewell version of the ATP Finals may still have its dream climax after world primary Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-6(4) to seal a final-4 spot on Friday.

Defeat by Daniil Medvedev had left the 5-time champion needing to beat Germany’s Zverev to keep away from a gaggle stage exit and he obliged with a comparatively comfy win.

Djokovic will end second within the Tokyo Group, named after the primary version of the season-ending event 50 years in the past, and with Spanish world quantity two Rafa Nadal ending second within the London Group, they’ve averted a semi-closing conflict.

The 33-yr-previous Serb will face U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem in Saturday’s semi-closing, when Nadal performs Medvedev.

Sunday’s closing will finish the event’s 12-yr keep in London earlier than it re-locates to Turin.

Djokovic was soundly overwhelmed by Zverev within the 2018 closing, a match performed out in an electrifying ambiance in entrance of 18,000 followers. This time the sector was empty due to the COVID-19 lockdown, a surreal backdrop for a match with a lot driving on it for each males.

Despite the flat really feel, Djokovic was shortly into sport-mode and when world quantity seven Zverev double-faulted to drop serve in his first service sport he seized management.

Zverev dug in his heels within the second set however missed an opportunity for an early break earlier than recovering from a few double faults to fend off a break level within the following sport.

Djokovic appeared annoyed at instances and twice needed to maintain serve to remain within the set.

The 17-time Grad Slam champion raised the depth degree within the tiebreak, edging 5-3 forward with a fizzing backhand go. He introduced up two match factors with a hefty first serve earlier than pressurising Zverev into an error to finish victory.

Djokovic is bidding to equal Roger Federer’s document of six ATP Finals titles, whereas Nadal seeks a primary.

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