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Medvedev stuns Djokovic to book last-4 berth at ATP Finals

Medvedev stuns Djokovic to book last-4 berth at ATP Finals
Daniil Medvedev
LONDON, NOV 19 (IANS) | Publish Date: 11/19/2020 1:04:26 PM IST

Daniil Medvedev has guaranteed his place in the semi-finals at the ongoing ATP Finals as the Russia fourth seed stunned world number one Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 in their latest encounter.

Medvedev, who lost all three group matches in last year’s season finale, had claimed his first victory in the tournament two days ago by beating 2018 champion Alexander Zverev in straight sets, reports Xinhua news agency.

Facing five-time champion Djokovic in the second round in Group Tokyo 1970, the 24-year-old Russian on Wednesday went unbroken while forcing the Serbian ace to make mistakes in his own service games.

“To be completely honest, I am sure he didn’t play his best today,” said Medvedev. “But it happens to everybody. I always say the Big Three are the champions because it happens less for them than for other players. It is still tough to beat them, even on their bad days. So I am pleased about the win.” 

“He was just better, no question about it,” admitted Djokovic. “I just struggled to find the right rhythm for 15 minutes or so. He used it, and then he held his serve all the way till the end. I

Earlier, Zverev kept his semi-final hopes alive as the German giant beat Argentine debutant Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6 and 6-3.

“I am happy to give myself a chance to go to the semi-finals and I am excited for Friday,” said Zverev.

Zverev will lock horns with Djokovic on Friday.

Rublev beats Thiem at ATP Finals

The lights went out unexpectedly at the O2 Arena, causing the start of the match between Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals to be delayed Thursday.

The already-qualified Thiem was short of energy, too, when play eventually began. The U.S. Open champion lost to Rublev 6-2, 7-5 in a contest that had little real consequence for either player, with Thiem assured of being the winner of the group after previous victories over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal and his Russian opponent unable to qualify for the semifinals after back-to-back losses.

Rublev played like someone with nothing to lose, overwhelming Thiem with his serve and fierce groundstrokes to take the Austrian’s first two service games and clinch the first set in less than 26 minutes. He dropped only three points on serve and had no unforced errors in that set. The second set was much closer, though Rublev was on top and serving at 4-3 when he lost eight straight points to get back on serve.

Rublev regrouped, broke Thiem after a long next game featuring some intense rallies, then served out the match for his first win in his debut at the season-ending tournament.

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