Title-holder Medvedev downs Hurkacz to win ATP Finals opener in Turin

The Russian made it six wins in a row at ATP Finals as he began the 2021 edition in style on Sunday

Daniil Medvedev, Masters de Turin 2021

ATP Finals, Turin | Draw | Schedule

  • What happened: Daniil Medvedev beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 to open the Nitto ATP Finals.
  • Why it matters: The defending champion wants to become the first man to win back-to-back ATP Finals since Novak Djokovic in 2014-15.
  • You will also learn: Medvedev did not face a break point in the entire match.

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev picked up where he left off last year as he opened the defence of his Nitto ATP Finals title with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 win over Hubert Hurkacz in the first match of this year’s event in Turin on Sunday.

“It was a very tight match,” world No 2 Medvedev told the crowd. “I think a lot of matches are going to be like this because the courts are super fast. The only two games I had break points, I managed to break and that was the key.”

The Russian, who won the title for the first time 12 months ago in London, dropped the first set on the tiebreak but bounced back with breaks early in each of the next two to set the standard in his first Red Group match. It’s his sixth win in a row in the season-ending event.

Olympic champion Alexander Zverev takes on Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the second Red Group match later on Sunday. The top four in the two round-robin groups will progress to the semi-finals.

Hurkacz starts strongly but Medvedev’s serve proves the key

On what looked to be a faster surface than the tournament was played on in London, Medvedev served well throughout but he was made to work hard by ATP Finals debutant Hurkacz, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon this year.

The Pole matched Medvedev in the opening set. Looking to come forward when he could, he snatched the first set on the tiebreak but the Russian made a tactical change, standing in closer to return, and it worked as he hit back immediately with an early break in the second to race ahead 3-0.

From that point on, Medvedev was in control, levelling the match thanks to the one break and then breaking in the first game of the decider, holding on with ease – he won 15 of 15 points on first serve in the third set – to make a confident start to his title campaign.

Beaten Hurkacz still looking ahead

Hurkacz said he hoped he could still qualify for the next stage.

“Definitely I played on a decent level,” he said. “I think I can do even better than this. I still have a chance to qualify from the group. I’ll just keep fighting and keep believing in myself.”

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