Novak Djokovic said he knew Daniil Medvedev would be determined not to end his ATP Finals campaign winless as he praised the "amazing" Russian following their thriller in Turin. On Friday, Djokovic edged out Medvedev 6-3 6-7 (5) 7-6 (2) to finish the group stage with a perfect 3-0 record.
Medvedev, who was left without a chance to qualify for the semifinal after losing his first two group stage matches, earned his first break of the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4 lead. Just when it seemed Medvedev would win the match, Djokovic impressively responded with a break in the 10th game as he managed to send the match into a decider.
In the third set tie-break, Djokovic was the one who came out on top as the Serb escaped with a three-set in a thriller that lasted three hours and 11 minutes.
Djokovic: Medvedev is an amazing player, I respect him a lot
"Daniil and I have had some battles in the past and I knew coming into the match today that it was going to be his last match of the season and he wouldn't want to finish with a loss.
I started off very well. [I] had chances in the second [set], had some break points but he played very well in those decisive points. He was playing really quick. I didn't fell physically well in the third set, struggled a lot.
It is a battle and it is a fight. Being able to find the last drop of energy to come back into the match. At 4-5 I managed to read his serve and anticipate well and got myself in a good position. I started off very well in the tie-break.
Tough three matches for him, losing 7-6 in the third in all three matches. It is not easy, but he is an amazing player. I have a lot of respect for him and what a great battle," Djokovic said, per the ATP Finals website. Now, Djokovic is set to play Taylor Fritz in the semifinal. Djokovic is two wins away from winning his sixth ATP Finals title.