Medvedev stays unbeaten, saving two match points to stop Sinner at ATP Finals

Daniil Medvedev was pushed to the brink by Italian debutant Jannik Sinner on Thursday in Turin, but the Russian rallied to earn his eighth consecutive ATP Finals win.

Daniil Medvedev 2021 Nitto ATP Finals

2021 ATP Finals, Turin | Draw | Schedule

  • What happened: Daniil Medvedev saved two match points to edge Jannik Sinner at the ATP Finals in Turin.
  • Why it matters: The Russian stretches his winning streak to eight victories at the Nitto ATP Finals.
  • You will also learn: Who Medvedev might face in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Jannik Sinner rallied from a first-set trouncing to push defending champion Daniil Medvedev to the brink on Thursday at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, but the Russian, as he always seems to do, found his way to a cliff-hanging victory, 6-0, 6-7(5), 7-6(8).

With his victory Medvedev runs his current ATP Finals winning streak to eight, which is the longest streak at the competition since Novak Djokovic won 15 matches in succession from 2012 to 2015. Remarkably, each of Medvedev’s last five wins at the Nitto ATP Finals have come in three sets.

Medvedev Deciders at ATP Finals Since 2020

  • 2020 semi-final, d. Nadal, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3
  • 2020 final, d. Thiem 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4
  • 2021 round robin, d. Hurkacz 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4
  • 2021 round robin, d. Zverev 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(6)
  • 2021 round robin, d. Sinner 6-0, 6-7(5), 7-6(6)

Sinner: A fantastic debut at ATP Finals

For much of the final two sets it appeared that Sinner was going to be the story of Friday’s nightcap in Turin. The Italian displayed an abundance of fighting spirit as he shook off what could have been a demoralizing opening set. Medvedev wanted to get the contest finished in straights, and he rallied from a break down to force a second-set tiebreak, but Sinner stood tall in the breaker, converting the only set point he needed to level at a set apiece.

Sinner also had the break in the third set but a determined Medvedev, frustrated by the raucous support that Sinner received throughout the match, summoned his fighting spirit and found a way back. He saved match points at 6-5 and 8-7 before finishing off his victory in two hours and 29 minutes.

“I took a little bit more time, trying to understand how to play against him. Then I found a solution,” Sinner said, adding:

“I tried my best, and obviously with the atmosphere here helped me a lot. I think it was a great match. Obviously it was not the way I want to end it, but I think I can be proud after the first set like this. I found a solution, which was the best thing I could do. Yeah, that’s it.”

Medvedev: I don’t like to lose

The fact that Medvedev was playing a “dead rubber” that would not affect his place in the standings caused the Russian a bit of conflict in his mind. As Sinner ratcheted up his play in the second and third sets, Medvedev said he was caught between wanting to win and not wanting to tax his body for the challenges to come.

“I wanted to try to finish the match quickly and just go home to sleep earlier, which didn’t manage to be because Jannik played good, yeah, played great level throughout, I won’t say the whole match but of course the second and third,” he said. “Third set it was really tough for me, because I don’t like to lose. At the same time I felt like I cannot run for shots anymore, so I tried to go a little bit more aggressive, tried to go faster. Jannik was taking a lot of time for his serves. I was, like, Come on, let’s just get it done.”

“Yeah, finally I’m just happy to win. Definitely weird match, and it’s like tough to talk about it, but, yeah, happy to win, happy to be here on Saturday and just gonna try to be ready for Saturday.”

RED GROUP FINAL STANDINGS – Zverev also qualfies

Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev are the qualifiers from the Red Group, and it is Medvedev who finishes in first place and thus avoids having to face Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals by virtue of his three-set win over Zverev.

Here are the final standings for the Red Group:

  1. Medvedev, 3-0 | 6-3 sets | 56-43 games
  2. Zverev, 2-1 | 5-2 sets | 28-25 games
  3. Sinner, 1-1 | 3-2 sets | 25-23 games
  4. Hurkacz, 0-3 | 1-6 sets | 24-42 games
  5. Berrettini, 0-1 | 0-2 sets |

SEMI-FINALS

  • Djokovic v Zverev
  • Medvedev v Rublev or Ruud

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