Tsitsipas revels in ATP Finals victory over Medvedev




Stefanos Tsitsipas in action against Daniil Medvedev during their round-robin match on day two of the ATP Finals
Stefanos Tsitsipas in action against Daniil Medvedev during their round-robin match on day two of the ATP Finals  

London (AFP) - Stefanos Tsitsipas revelled in his victory against Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals on Monday, admitting their spiky relationship had made his job tougher as Rafael Nadal prepared to make his bow.

The Greek 21-year-old came into the match at London's O2 Arena with a 5-0 losing record against his Russian opponent weighing on him.

But he edged a tight first set, winning the tie-break, and a single break late in the second set proved decisive in a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory.

The two players have had a rocky relationship.

Tensions flared between them in Miami last year and Tsitsipas recently labelled Medvedev's way of winning as "boring" after defeat against the Russian in Shanghai.

Tsitsipas said Medvedev had got "into my head" in Miami -- he said the row had centred on a demand from the Russian for an apology over a net cord.

"I mean, our chemistry definitely isn't the best that you can find on the Tour," said Tsitsipas, who added that Monday's match had been tougher because he was so desperate to win.

"It just happens with people, you can't just like everyone. It's not that I hate him. I guess -- yeah, as he said, we will not go to dinner together, so... I respect him, for sure."

The Greek, supported vociferously at the O2 Arena, could not convert the lone break point against the US Open finalist in the opening set and it went to a tie-break.

But at 5-5 in the breaker, Tsitsipas produced one of best points of the match and finished it with a forehand volley winner. He converted the opportunity with an aggressive forehand and let out a roar of delight.

The second set remained tight but Medvedev fatally opted to let a forehand go when rushing the net at 4-4 and it landed well inside the baseline, giving the Greek a break point.

Medvedev then hit a backhand long to give Tsitsipas the first break of the match and he did not let his chance slip, serving out for victory.

- Next Gen challengers -

World number four Medvedev, 23, has emerged as the leader of the pack of young tyros bidding to unseat the old guard of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Four of the eight competitors at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena are under 24 for the first time in 10 years.

Nadal, takes on defending champion Alexander Zverev in the later match in Group Andre Agassi with major questions over his fitness since he withdrew injured from the Paris Masters at the semi-final stage.

The Spanish top seed is locked in a battle with Djokovic to finish as the year-end number one but was not serving flat out in practice last week due to an abdominal strain.

Regardless of Djokovic's results this week, Nadal will clinch the year-end top spot for a fifth time if he reaches the final with a 4-0 record.

Djokovic launched his bid for a sixth ATP Finals title with a comfortable win against Matteo Berrettini on Sunday but Federer slipped to a straight-sets defeat against Dominic Thiem, putting his hopes of progress in serious jeopardy.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Improved Nadal makes foe feel
Improved Nadal makes foe feel 'powerless' at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal feels good about his tennis as the Australian Open heads to Week 2.

Kyrgios sets up Nadal showdown after five-set thriller
Kyrgios sets up Nadal showdown after five-set thriller

Firebrand Nick Kyrgios scraped past Karen Khachanov Saturday in five thrilling sets to set up a grudge match against top seed Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open fourth round. "Mate, it was crazy, I don't even know what to say right now, it was insane, I have no words for how I'm feeling

Mimic Kyrgios serves up fresh dig at rival Nadal
Mimic Kyrgios serves up fresh dig at rival Nadal

Rafael Nadal insisted "I really don't care" after Nick Kyrgios turned up the heat on their simmering rivalry by mimicking the Spaniard's signature serving routine. Kyrgios theatrically copied Nadal's laborious pre-serve ticks during his Australian Open second round clash against Gilles Simon, pretending to tuck his hair behind his ears and picking at his underwear. Kyrgios has a testy relationship with Nadal.

Nadal wastes chances as Delbonis frustrates him
Nadal wastes chances as Delbonis frustrates him

Top seed Rafael Nadal said that he needed to be more clinical after dogged fellow left-hander Federico Delbonis frustrated him at the Australian Open on Thursday. The Spanish world number one created 20 break opportunities but was constantly denied by the Argentine before he wrapped up a 6-3, 7-6 (7

Nadal shows caring side with kiss for blushing ballgirl
Nadal shows caring side with kiss for blushing ballgirl

Rafael Nadal melted hearts at the Australian Open on Thursday, rushing to console a ballgirl and kissing her on the cheek after one of his fearsome shots ricocheted off her. The Spanish world number one was in the throes of wrapping up his second round clash on Rod Laver Arena against Argentine Federico Delbonis when the unfortunate girl found herself in his firing line. Nadal went over to check how she was and gave her a quick peck on the cheek for good measure, leaving the youngster blushing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Tennis