Better, impossible. Daniil Medvedev is experiencing one of the strongest starts of his career in the Nitto ATP Finals, and this Wednesday he demonstrated it by sealing his early qualification to the semifinals of the tournament.
The leader in victories of the season (67) entered the track knowing that, after the victory of Carlos Alcaraz over Andrey Rublev At the beginning of the day, he needed to win in straight sets to secure his third time in the semifinals of the tournament. And that’s what he got.
Two days after signing his debut with the fewest games lost in his career in this event (he beat Rublev 6-4, 6-2), the No. 3 in the Pepperstone ATP Ranking has managed to overcome Alexander Zverev with sets of 7-6 (7), 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes of play, thus becoming the first singles player to qualify for the semifinals in Turin.
Furthermore, the 2020 tournament champion remains the only participant to have won every set played that week. Although this Wednesday he was very close to losing the opening match against Zverev, who went from being 1-3 to having an advantage in the tie-break of 4/1, 6/5 and 7/6. However, Medvedev saved both set points thanks to an unforced error and another forced error by the 26-year-old German.
From there, it was just patience from the world No. 3. Patience to save a break point at 4-4, and to take advantage of his first break point in the set at 5-4, which at the same time was his first match point. Around 11:00 p.m. in Turin, Medvedev celebrated soberly after leaving his Lexus ATP HeadToHead with Zverev at 11-7.
“It was a very tough match mentally,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “I started very well, I was playing well. He hadn’t gotten to that point yet, but at one point he improved his game and at that point, for some reason, I started playing a little worse for a short period of time.”
“I’m happy that I managed to regroup and play better at the end of the first set. The end of both sets was very close… In the tie-break, he had set point with his serve. I’m happy because this year I might have lost some games like this. “I’m happy to win it.”
His recovery is notable in Turin. In 2022 he had said goodbye to the tournament in the group stage and after losing all his matches in the third set. He now has a 4-0 record in sets this week, and defeated Carlos Alcaraz’s executioner this Wednesday on the first day of the Red Group. He serves, by the way, to take revenge for his defeat against Zverev the last time they had collided in a Nitto ATP Finals, no less than in the 2021 final.
Now they will try to revalidate their level at the close of the group stage when they face Alcaraz, with whom they have a 2-2 record. Zverev, for his part, will face an eliminated Rublev (the German leads the history between them 5-3).
Zverev, who no longer has the option of winning his group, needs a win on Friday (regardless of the result), and another for Medvedev over Alcaraz to qualify for the next round. The world No. 3, for his part, only needs to win a set against Alcaraz to qualify as leader of the group. See all the qualifying scenarios.
The post first appeared on www.atptour.com