ATP Finals | Daniil Medvedev beats Nadal to set up Thiem title match

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Thiem’s ​​victory over Djokovic put an end to the world number one’s hopes of tying Roger Federer’s record of six titles in the elite eight-man event.

Daniil Medvedev sent Rafael Nadal to pack his bags after a grueling scuffle in the ATP final in London on Saturday to stage a title match against Novak Djokovic conqueror Dominic Thiem.

The Spanish world number two, who has never won the elite event in his illustrious career, served for the match in the second set but was ultimately beaten 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.

Earlier, US Open champion Thiem recovered from 4-0 in the third set tie-break against Djokovic to win 7-5, 6-7 (10/12), 7-6 (7/5 ).

Giant Medvedev – arguably the hottest player on the tour following his Paris Masters win – put Nadal’s serve under intense pressure at the start of their evening game at the empty O2 Arena.

But he failed to make his chances count and a drop in his level allowed the Spaniard to pause to enjoy leading 5-3 before serving for the set.

Medvedev, 24, immediately found his attention early in the second set, winning his first service match before Nadal double faulted to give the Russian a 2-0 lead.

Just when it looked like Medvedev was cruising, Nadal, 34, snapped twice to gain full control and stepped up to serve for the game.

But in another amazing twist, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was shattered and Medvedev won the eventual tie-break.

The deciding set rested on the seventh game, which Medvedev ultimately won. He repeated the feat to seal a famous victory.

The agony of Djokovic

Thiem’s ​​victory over Djokovic put an end to the world number one’s hopes of tying Roger Federer’s record of six titles in the elite eight-man event.

The 2019 finalist faced a psychologically tough battle after wasting four match points in the second set tie-break.

But he was quickly back in the groove and recovered from a desperate situation in the last set tie-break, winning six straight points to win two match points, taking the second of those.

“It was a mental battle for sure,” Thiem said. “I got so tight in the second set tie-break, first of all because playing these legends will always be something special.

“And then playing for a final here at the ATP Finals is also something very special. I thought after my first big title in New York I might be a bit calmer but that was a mistake I guess.

Thiem took a while to settle at the start of the match but forced the only break of the match in Game 11, which proved to be enough to win the first set.

The second set was a biting tie-break. Thiem wasted four match points and ultimately threw a backhand into the net as the 17-time Grand Slam champion took 12-10 to tie the game.

Both players quickly settled in at the start of the decider, with Djokovic looking much more focused than he had in the later stages of the second set.

A high-quality contest boiled down to the dramatic third set tie-break, Thiem defying all expectations.

The Austrian is only the second player in 2020 to win a tie-break against Djokovic, who entered the third set with a 15-1 record this season.

Djokovic, who already tied Pete Sampras’ record of six number one finishes at the end of the year, has not won the end-of-season championships since 2015.

“What he did 0-4 in the third set tiebreaker was just unreal,” said the world number one. “I mean, I don’t think I played badly.”

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