'I had a match point against Rafael Nadal and would love to repeat..' says Medvedev

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'I had a match point against Rafael Nadal and would love to repeat..' says Medvedev

Rafael Nadal and Danill Medvedev played thrilling encounters at the ATP Finals in the last two seasons, pushing each other to the limits and performing many comebacks and turnarounds. In 2019, Rafa had to dig deep against Daniil in a 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 triumph in two hours and 46 minutes, trailing 5-1 in the decider and fending off a match point in the seventh game before bringing the victory home.

It was a crucial moment in Nadal's battle against Novak Djokovic for the year-end no. 1 spot, especially after a terrible performance in the opening match against Alexander Zverev. Speaking about the encounter and the match point he had, Daniil said he would love to repeat it and play on a higher level after building such a massive lead in the final set.

It was their third meeting and the third triumph for Rafa, who claimed three points more than his rival and scored a crucial break at 4-5 in the deciding set to keep himself in contention before emerging at the top. World no.

1 fended off four out of six break chances and grabbed four breaks from nine opportunities for his first victory after saving a match point since Beijing 2017. Rafa had 26 winners and 27 unforced errors, improving his level significantly in comparison to that first match against the German.

The 19-time Major champion overpowered Daniil in the mid-range exchanges to cross the finish line first, canceling 41 winners and 40 mistakes from the Russian and delivering essential 200 points in the year-end no. 1 battle with Djokovic.

Medvedev was the better player in the opener, wasting a break chance at 3-3 before taking the tie break 7-3 with a service winner after 53 minutes. Raising his level, Nadal lost six points on serve in set number two and kept the pressure on Medvedev, scoring a break in the first game after a loose forehand from the Russian for a much better position.

Rafael Nadal saved a match point against Daniil Medvedev at the 2019 ATP Finals.

Delivering one good hold after another, Rafa grabbed another break in game nine to close the set in style and gather momentum ahead of the decider, where he was the favorite.

Daniil had other plans, though, earning breaks in games one and three to race into a 4-0 advantage and creating two more chances on the return in the fifth game that could have pushed him further ahead. Rafa repelled those and found the energy to climb back, saving a match point with a perfect drop shot at 1-5 and pulling the second break back at 4-5 to extend the clash and his chances.

There were no mini-breaks in the first nine points of the tie break before Rafa scored the crucial one in the tenth point when Daniil's forehand landed long. The Spaniard sealed the deal a few moments later following his opponent's backhand mistake and celebrated one of the most significant victories of the season.

"I have to be honest, the match against Rafael Nadal in London, the match point, what else can I say? I thought it would be a tough question to find an answer, but actually, it's an easy one," Daniil Medvedev said.