NERINA DREYER previews the final of the Nitto ATP World Finals that will see Daniil Medvedev take on Dominic Thiem on Sunday.
The Nitto ATP finals are often seen as the fifth Grand Slam of the year. The top eight players in the world compete for the honours. This year the top four players in the world qualified for the Semi finals as in 2018, when Novak Djokovic, then also seeded first, ultimately lost the final to Alexander Zverev. This year Dominic Thiem (27) triumphed over Djokovic (33) in the first semi final and in-form Daniil Medvedev (24) was victorious over Rafael Nadal (34) in the second semi final.
Road to the Final:
Thiem is the current US Open champion, his first Grand Slam title, and he was runner up at the
ATP finals in 2019, when Stefanos Tsitsipas won the title. This year Thiem beat Tsitsipas and Nadal in his first two matches. He won the match against Tsitsipas in three sets, having lost the second set 4 – 6. He beat Nadal in straight sets with two tie breakers. He then lost his third match against Rublev, but still qualified for the semi final where he played against Djokovic. He won the match in three sets on his sixth match point. The second and third sets were both tie breakers. Both Djokovic and Thiem had excellent records in tie breaks before this match with Djokovic winning 15 out of 16 this year and Thiem winning 13 from 14 tie breaks. In the end Thiem won the third set and secured his place in the final for the second consecutive year.
Medvedev is the in-form player of the tournament. He won all three his group games in straight sets. This included a great performance against Djokovic, where he beat the world number one 6 – 3, 6 – 3. He may have had a 0 – 3 record against Nadal, before the semi final, but that did not stop him to give it everything against the Spaniard. He lost the first set 3 – 6. Nadal served for the match in the tenth game of the second set, but Medvedev broke the Nadal serve and went on to win the set in the tie break. He won the third set 6 – 3 to secure his place in the final.
Based on form and the performances of the players in the Semi final, Medvedev should win his first Nitto ATP World finals in two sets.
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