Novak Djokovic got here by way of a three-set battle with Daniil Medvedev on the ATP Finals in Turin, though the grueling nature of the competition was lower than preferrred for the Serb forward of the semifinals of the match in lower than 24 hours’ time.
Already assured of a spot within the final 4 of the season-ending occasion after successful his opening two round-robin matches this week, Djokovic ensured he completed the group stage with an ideal file along with his 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) victory over Medvedev on Friday.
However a brutal tug-of-war which lasted greater than three hours was maybe removed from good preparation for Djokovic earlier than he performs America’s Taylor Fritz within the semifinals on the Pala Alpitour on Saturday.
Fritz can be significantly better rested after sealing his place within the knockout levels with victory over Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday.
Having already seen his personal semifinal probabilities finish with two group-stage defeats, Medvedev was largely taking part in for pleasure towards Djokovic.
However the Russian had a comeback win in his sights when serving for the match at 5-4 within the third set, after breaking Djokovic’s serve in a titanic 15-minute recreation.
However simply as he had executed towards Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier within the week, Medvedev let the chance slip as Djokovic broke again to stage at 5-5, earlier than occurring to exert management within the tiebreak.
Djokovic stays heading in the right direction for a sixth ATP Finals title – which might equal Roger Federer’s file however could be a primary since 2015 for the Serb.
Medvedev, who was match champion in 2020 and a crushed finalist final yr, leaves Turin winless in his three matches, however very a lot having performed his half in an enthralling ‘Crimson Group’.
“Daniil and I’ve had some battles previously and I knew coming into the match immediately that it was going to be his final match of the season and he wouldn’t wish to end with a loss,” Djokovic said of the thriller in Turin, as he improved to 8-4 in his head-to-head file with Medvedev.
“With the ability to discover the final drop of power to return again into the match. At 4-5 I managed to learn his serve and anticipate effectively and received myself in a great place. I began off very effectively within the tiebreak.
“Robust three matches for him, shedding 7-6 within the third in all three matches. It’s not simple, however he’s a tremendous participant. I’ve numerous respect for him and what a terrific battle.”
Afterward Friday, the final semifinal place can be determined when Russia’s Andrey Rublev takes on Greece’s Tsitsipas, with each males on one win from their two group matches so far.
The ‘Inexperienced Group’ wrapped up on Thursday when America’s Fritz defeated Auger-Aliassime to e-book a semifinal with Djokovic.
Norwegian Casper Ruud had already ensured his place within the last 4, however misplaced his final group stage match in straight units towards the already-eliminated Rafael Nadal.
The semifinals happen in Turin on Saturday, earlier than the ultimate on Sunday.
Djokovic stays the one man unbeaten on the match, and may he clinch the title, the 21-time Grand Slam winner stands to earn a cool $4.74 million payday as undefeated champion.
You possibly can share this story on social media: