Russia’s world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev kept his record in the Nitto ATP Finals clean with a third consecutive win in the ‘Red Group’ — a 6-0, 6-7(5), 7-6(8) victory over local favourite Jannik Sinner — as he aims to defend the elite year-end title he won in London last year.
The World No. 2, who secured qualification for the semifinals on November 16 itself when he beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev, saved two match points as he edged home favourite in front of a packed Pala Alpitour here.
“It was tough,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview on Thursday night. “Mentally it was tough knowing the match was dead. But I did not want to lose my rhythm. I won the first set quite easily and I was like, lets continue this way. The second set was about an hour or so and then it is the third set. But you’re not going to not play the third set because I like to win, I don’t like to lose. I am happy I won,” Medvedev told atptour.com.
Medvedev has now won his past eight matches at the season finale, having defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem to lift the trophy when the event was held in London last year.
In an entertaining match, the Russian hit with consistent depth against Sinner as he used his flat groundstrokes to pin the Italian back. Medvedev recovered from a break down in the third set and saved match points at 5/6 and 7/8 in the third-set tie-break to extend his ATP head-to-head series lead against the 20-year-old to 3-0.
Medvedev, who beat Hubert Hurkacz in his opening round-robin match, will play either Casper Ruud of Norway or Andrey Rublev of Russia in the semifinals, with the pair facing off later on Friday in a winner-takes-all clash. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has already won the ‘Green Group’ and will take on Zverev in the last-four.
“When I know that I am in the next round and I am waiting for my opponent, I watch the match to see how they play,” Medvedev added. “So I am just going to watch it and enjoy it and wait for the winner.”
Earlier this season, Medvedev earned his fourth ATP Masters 1000 trophy in Toronto, before he ended Djokovic’s Grand Slam hopes by defeating the Serbian in the US Open final to capture his maiden major title. The Russian is now 57-12 on the year.