Daniil Medvedev defeated Rafael Nadal to reach the final at the ATP Finals on Saturday, beating our champ 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 at the O2 Arena. It was his first triumph over Rafa in their four H2H meetings.
Rafa served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but the Russian, after blowing the chance to go 5-1 up in the same set, just produced some outstanding hitting to force a tie-break and then take the decider.
The Russian, who has won nine consecutive matches, will play Dominic Thiem for the title.
‘I don’t know. I think I achieved enough to not find an excuse about the pressure,’ said Rafa, who denied he had any physical issues in the back end of the match.
‘I know I won enough matches and enough tournaments in an even more difficult situation than this one and even in more important matches than tonight. So I don’t feel that way.
‘I feel I played a bad game. Of course you are nervous to win the match. But not me. Everybody. Is normal to have the tension. I think he played some good points and I make a couple of mistakes.
‘And that’s it, and then he played a good tiebreak. Yeah. And I played, I should be winning my serve in the third, the one that I lost. I had easy volley to close the game.
‘Small details makes a big difference. Just well done for him and not enough good for me.’