Daniil Medvedev wins Nitto ATP Finals title after beating Dominic Thiem in the final on Sunday
24-year-old Daniil Medvedev wins his first ATP Finals title of his career, at the 02 arena in London, winning in three sets against Austrian Dominic Thiem. The Russian went unbeaten all tournament and became the first ever tennis player to beat the world’s top three ranked players at the ATP Finals.
After losing every match in last year’s tournament, Medvedev turned his fortunes around. He beat world number one Novak Djokovic in the group stages, number two Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals and Thiem in the final.
The 27-year-old Austrian has now lost this final for the second consecutive year, after losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2019. He will be disappointed with his end to the season, despite reaching two grand slam finals including winning the US Open.
After dropping the first set, Medvedev produced an inspired comeback and dug deep to take the trophy. The Russian has now won back to back titles, after winning the Paris Masters a couple of weeks ago. His record for 2020 is 28 wins and 10 losses, after a slow start to the year.
Medvedev quickly found his feet, winning the biggest title of his career. He did it in extraordinary fashion and is only the fourth person to beat all top three ranked players in a single event since the ATP tour began in 1990.
The ATP Finals say goodbye to London
His celebrations were muted unfortunately due to a lack of fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic. However that will not spoil this brilliant achievement for Medvedev.
This will also be the last year the ATP Finals will be held in London as the event moves to Turin, Italy next year. An estimated 2.8m fans have attended matches for this event, dating back to 2009.
The first winner there in 2009 was also won by a Russian, Nikolay Davydenko. He beat Argentine tennis player, Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets to win a maiden ATP Finals title as well.
“I always said before this tournament that it would be an amazing story if, here in London, where the tournament was for  years, that the first champion would be Russian and the last champion would be Russian too,” Medvedev said.
“A lot of thanks to Nikolay Davydenko for being an inspiration for many kids [like] me [by] winning here. I hope to continue doing his job.”
MEDVEDEV'S THE MAN IN LONDON!
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 22, 2020
Daniil Medvedev V Dominic Thiem (4-6, 7-6, 6-4)
The match began fantastically, with both players fighting hard for the trophy. Thiem’s aggression rivalled Medvedev’s controlled but clinical approach. The Russian took an early lead but it was followed by a serious of forehand errors.
A double-fault from Medvedev and numerous effective groundstrokes from Thiem, gave him the crucial first break in the 5th game. The first set concluded 4-6 to the Austrian, after a powerful forehand ricocheted off the net and past his opponent.
The second set continued to deliver entertaining tennis for fans watching all over the world. There was nothing separating the two players. Medvedev had changed the tone of the match as he showed grit to claw back. Thiem almost had a vital break point advantage in the 7th game, but the Russian held on to win.
The world number three, Thiem, tried to adopt the backhand slice technique, but Medvedev’s defence was impenetrable. The second set then moved into a tense tie-breaker. Taking the first two points on his serve, Thiem failed to capitalise with his lead. Medvedev then went on a five point streak to win the tie-breaker 7-2 and the set 7-6.
The championship match of the ATP Finals, was now to be concluded by a deciding third set. The Austrian began to grow more frustrated and tired throughout the third, as Medvedev kept his composure. Losing only two serves the whole set, the Russian finally found a break in the 5th game.
From then on, Medvedev dominated and coolly controlled the rest of the set, despite a spirited fight back from Thiem. Medvedev hit a powerful serve to ace his opponent for the championship point, resulting in heartache for Dominic Thiem. Lasting two hours and 43 minutes, this was the longest three-set final in ATP Finals history.
“Of course I am disappointed, but at the same time I am also proud of the performance of all the week. Daniil really deserved it,” Thiem said.
“[It was an] amazing match. Congratulations for, in general, another great year. I think it was an amazing month [in] November. It was a pleasure today, even though I lost.”
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) November 22, 2020
The Road to Glory
With the event comprising of three group games and the knockout rounds, Medvedev went 5-0 to secure his first ever ATP Finals title and his 9th career title. At just 24 years of age, he has already made his name in the world of tennis and sits fourth in the rankings.
Daniil dominated group Tokyo 1970, sweeping aside every competitor in the group in straight sets. In a Paris Master’s final rematch, he took on Alexander Zverev in the first match to state his case for this year’s tournament.
Then he took on world number Novak Djokovic, shocking him in straight sets to earn qualification into the knockout rounds. Djokovic had no answer to overcome his Russian opponent, as he booked his spot into the semi’s.
He then earned a commanding victory over Argentine tennis player Diego Schwartzman to secure top spot in the group. He still had to face Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, but fought back from a set down in similar fashion as he did against Thiem. In three sets he defeated the world number two, ending the Spaniard’s hopes for a maiden ATP Finals title.
His final win against Dominic Thiem concluded his status as a fierce competitor going into the 2021 season. The ‘Big Three’ will definitely be cautious when facing Medvedev in future tournaments, after his ATP Finals win is no doubt a warning for his future opposition.
His next objective is simple – a Grand Slam.
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- Nitto ATP Finals: Thiem and Medvedev set up blockbuster finale
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- Daniil Medvedev wins the Paris Masters after beating Alexander Zverev
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