Medvedev starts off Nitto ATP Finals with straight-set victory over Zverev

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Daniil Medvedev started his Nitto ATP Finals with a straight-set victory over Zverev in a repeat of the final from two weeks ago at the Paris Masters.

Nitto ATP Finals, Group Tokyo 1970

RESULT: Medvedev d. Zverev 6-3, 6-4

  • Key info: This was a rematch of last week’s Paris Masters final, in which Medvedev also came out on top.
  • You will also learn: Zverev struggled with his second serve, winning only 15 percent of those points in set one.
  • Why you should read this story: It was Medvedev’s first Nitto ATP Finals win after going 0-3 last year.

Daniil Medvedev kicked off his 2020 Nitto ATP Finals campaign with a straight-set win over Alexander Zverev on Monday night. Medvedev needed one hour and 29 minutes to pick up his first-ever victory inside London’s O2 Arena.

Serving woes for Zverev

It was a slow start for Zverev and Medvedev, who both struggled to find any form in the opening games. Zverev broke his opponent’s serve in the first game before Medvedev broke immediately back. In truth, Zverev contributed to his own downfall by missing seven consecutive serves–a stretch of three double-faults in succession. A seven-minute third game that went to deuce four times was won by the Russian before he took more control of the first set. A combined 32 unenforced errors in the opener indicated that neither man was playing to his ability.

Serving remained a big issue for the German, whose six double-faults in the set meant he really didn’t trouble Medvedev much following a grueling first few games. Zverev especially struggled with his second serve, winning only 15 percent of points on it in the opening frame of play.

Medvedev uses underarm serve en route to victory

While the first set was not the highest in quality, the rallies were long and physical. The second set started out in more normal fashion. Both players held their first three service games before Medvedev broke and started to outplay Zverev, whom the Russian had also defeated in the Paris Masters final. Zverev clearly tired in the second and it was more routine for Medvedev, who even used an underarm serve to good effect. Zverev was able to hold his last service game, but Medvedev served at 5-4 and didn’t drop a point in the game to cap off his victory in style.

Medvedev commented his second-set performance after the match.

“The second set was easier to make some winners as we both tired after some amazing rallies.”

Zverev reflected less positively and discussed what he needs to improve for the rest of his tournament.

“I need to look at myself, I need to play better, I need to be better on court. Because if I play like today I’m not going to win any matches here this week. Now I can’t afford to lose.”

Nitto ATP Finals competition format

  • Everyone plays every other player in their group once.
  • The top player in Group Tokyo 1970 will play the runner-up from Group London 2020 in the semi-final, and vice versa.
  • The standings in the table are decided first by greatest number of wins.
  • Then it takes into account the greatest number of matches played (a 2-1 win-loss record beats a 2-0 win-loss record).
  • After that it comes down to head-to-head results if two players are tied.
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