Hamad Medjedovic and Alex Michelsen played the most exciting match on the opening day of this year's Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. The Serb ousted the American 4-2, 4-3, 3-4, 3-4, 4-3 after two and a half hours, scoring his first victory at this competition.
Medjedovic claimed 17 points more than Michelsen. However, he stood three points from the exit door in the deciding tie break before rattling off four straight points and emerging at the top. Alex served at 78%, but it did not bring him much.
He played against 11 break points and defended nine while scoring only one break from three opportunities. They fired 78 service winners and had more winners than unforced errors in a high-quality clash. Medjedovic made a reliable start and broke Michelsen in the third game following a deep return.
Hamad cemented the break with a hold in game four and served for the opener at 3-2. The Serb fired four winners in the sixth game, wrapping up the opener 4-2 in 18 minutes.
Hamad Medjedovic defeated Alex Michelsen in five sets in Jeddah.
Michelsen faced more issues at the beginning of the second set, playing against three break points. The American defended them and avoided an early setback. Alex claimed a decisive point at 1-1, staying on the positive side before experiencing more problems at 2-2.
Medjedovic kept the pressure on his rival with deep returns, clinching the third break point and serving for the set at 3-2. The Serb faced a break point and denied it with a beautiful volley. However, the American claimed a decisive point with a cracking backhand crosscourt winner, leveling the score at 3-3 and introducing a tie break.
There were five mini-breaks in the opening six points, and Medjedovic claimed three to stay in front. The Serb fired a booming serve at 6-3, moving two sets to love in front after 52 minutes. They both saved a break point in the third set, entering another tie break.
Michelsen had to win it to prolong the battle, and he found his A-game on the return. The American landed a service winner at 6-3, wrapping up the set and improving his chances. There were no chances for the returners in the fourth set, introducing another tie break, with the pressure on Alex.
Michelsen grabbed a mini-break at 3-3 and earned three set points with a couple of booming serves. Hamad saved the first two on his serve before Alex seized the third after the rival's backhand error, introducing a decider after an hour and 56 minutes.
Medjedovic delivered three fine holds and forced a decisive point on the return in game four. Michelsen claimed it with a service winner, remaining on the positive side. The set went into a tie break, and they exchanged four mini-breaks to stay neck and neck.
Hamad trailed 4-3 before claiming two points on his serve, keeping the pressure on the other side. The Serb moved 6-4 in front with a powerful forehand and seized the first match point with a deep return.