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Medvedev fights off Nadal to set up ATP Finals showdown with Thiem

Reuters logo Reuters 2 days ago
Daniil Medvedev holding a racket: ATP Finals © Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE ATP Finals

LONDON (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal's dream of adding the ATP Finals title to his vast collection of silverware was ended for another year as the Spaniard was beaten 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3 by Russian Daniil Medvedev in a sizzling semi-final on Saturday.

a man wearing a hat: ATP Finals © Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE ATP Finals

World number four Medvedev's first career victory over the 20-times Grand Slam champion sent him through to a Sunday showdown against Dominic Thiem who earlier beat Novak Djokovic in another titanic clash.

The 24-year-old Medvedev reached the semi-finals as the only player to post a 100% record in his group, including a superb defeat of Djokovic.

He was the better player in the opening set against Nadal but one lapse on serve was all the Spaniard required to snatch it.

Daniil Medvedev hitting a ball with a racket: ATP Finals © Reuters/PAUL CHILDS ATP Finals

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Medvedev blew a big lead in the second set when Nadal was one point away from a going down 5-1. Nadal swung the match his way and served for a place in the final at 5-4, only for Medvedev to break to love.

A flukey forehand winner helped Medvedev move 5-3 ahead in the tiebreaker and he took full advantage to set up a decider.

a group of people standing on a court with a racket: ATP Finals © Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE ATP Finals

Nadal appeared to be feeling the pace in a tense final set and some sensational winners allowed Medvedev to grab the crucial break of serve in the seventh game.

a person hitting a ball with a racket: ATP Finals © Reuters/PAUL CHILDS ATP Finals

Two games later Nadal dumped a backhand in the net to hand Medvedev a landmark victory.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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