1st December 2020

A NEWS ROOM

GIVE NEWS A LITTLE MORE TIME

Daniil Medvedev makes history with final O2 ATP Finals win after Thiem fightback

Medvedev won the biggest title of his season (Picture: TPN/Getty Images)

Daniil Medvedev became the first man to beat the top-three ranked players at the ATP Finals as he fought back from a set down to beat Dominic Thiem and win the final title at the O2.

Medvedev, the world No. 4 from Russia, has finished this season with a bang, picking up a third Masters 1000 title in Paris-Bercy before beating Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Thiem en route to the biggest title of his career.

He’s the second Russian to win this tournament after Nikolay Davydenko, who won the the first edition held at the O2 in 2009, and showed real resolve to recover from an early setback to win 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in two hours and 52 minutes.

It’s been some November for the long-limbed Russian. He’s won all 10 of his matches this month, including seven top-10 wins, and pockets £1.2million after going unbeaten at this tournament.

The former US Open finalist was on the brink of defeat in both his semi-final and final match in London, but roared back against Nadal – who served for the match – and Thiem to clinch a second title of the season.

Medvedev became only the second man – after Djokovic in 2008 – to win the title in his second appearance, having lost all three matches on his debut.

Thiem was beaten in three sets (Picture: TPN/Getty)

He’ll hope to follow in Djokovic’s footsteps by finishing this event as the last champion – as Djokovic did in Shanghai – before becoming the most successful player in its next destination – as Djokovic, a four-time winner here, did at the O2.

For US Open champion Thiem, it’s another final defeat. He has losing records in finals at Grand Slam level, Masters 1000 level and a 0-2 record at these finals having been beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in last year’s final.

The pair will no doubt be heading to Turin next season as one of the top-eight players for the first edition of a five-year-contract for this tournament to be held in Italy.

Despite the lack of fans, this has been a high-quality end to an event that has served London well for the past 12 seasons.

Londoners packed the 17,000-capacity O2 in day and night sessions every week throughout its stay since 2009 – Turin has a tough act to follow.

The event finishes at the O2 with six different champions in its final six years, but it will surely be Thiem who leads the new generation in these finals’ new home.

It was Medvedev who started the stronger. He held with back-to-back aces and then applied pressure on the Thiem serve, forcing the nervy world No. 3 to save two break points.

In the fifth game, Medvedev looked on course for another comfortable hold but lost five points in a row from 40-0 up. His third game point was a dreadful miss, dumping a smash into the net and Thiem reeled off the next two points to take a 3-2 lead.



ATP Finals winners in London

2009 – Nikolay Davydenko
2010 – Roger Federer
2011 – Roger Federer
2012 – Novak Djokovic
2013 – Novak Djokovic
2014 – Novak Djokovic
2015 – Novak Djokovic
2016 – Andy Murray
2017 – Grigor Dimitrov
2018 – Alexander Zverev
2019 – Stefanos Tsitsipas
2020 – Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev’s five-point horror show proved to be enough for Thiem to clinch the set. A cruel net cord in the Austrian’s favour sealed it.

It was the fifth game of the second set – as was the case in the first – where Medvedev faced a break point, but this time he held firm to keep his nose in front in the set.

He held on again in the seventh game of the second, saving two more break points and Thiem – who took an awkward tumble at the start of his next service game – followed suit by saving one in the eighth.

It needed a tiebreak to split them and it was Medvedev who prevailed. He reeled off seven points in a row after losing the first two to level things up.

In the third game of the deciding set, Thiem fell 0-40 down but boldly saved three break points with first-strike tennis.

Two games later, he cracked. In a marathon service game, Medvedev returned relentlessly to finally break through and clinch the vital break, with a smart approach and two-volley finish at the net.

Koolhof and Mektic won the title (Picture: Getty)

History was made in the doubles final earlier on Sunday.

Dutch-Croat duo Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic became the doubles pairing to win their first title as a team at the ATP Finals.

They beat Jurgen Melzer and Eduoard Roger-Vasselin 6-2 3-6 10-5 and will now split as a pair.

Mektic will team up with compatriot Mate Pavic, who binned Bruno Soares at the end of this season. The Brazilian will reunite with Jamie Murray.

For Melzer – one of two Austrians in the finals at the O2 along with Thiem – he will retire. His final shot as a professional tennis player was a double fault on match point.

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.




Source link

You May Also Be Interested