Daniil Medvedev made his ATP Finals debut in 2019 and lost all three matches despite a great effort. The Russian had a massive chance to score at least one triumph in London, and a notable one. He forged a 5-1 advantage in the decider against world no.
1 Rafael Nadal and wasted a match point in game seven. After a roller coaster ride, Nadal overcame a deficit and prevailed 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 46 minutes for his second thrilling win over Medvedev within two months.
Speaking about the match, Daniil said he felt disappointed for a week or two. He tried to take positive notes and improve his game ahead of the following notable encounters. It was their third meeting and the third triumph for Rafa, who claimed three points more than his rival and scored the crucial break at 4-5 in the deciding set before winning the tie break.
World no. 1 fended off four out of six break chances and earned four breaks from nine opportunities to fend off a match point and emerge at the top. Rafa had 26 winners and 27 unforced errors, improving his level significantly in comparison to that first clash against Zverev.
The 19-time Major champion overpowered Daniil in the mid-range exchanges, compensating the Russian's 41 winners and 40 mistakes and delivering essential 200 points in the year-end no. 1 battle with Novak Djokovic.
Daniil Medvedev wasted a 5-1 lead and a match point against Rafael Nadal in London.
The Spaniard saved a break chance in the opener's game seven to reach a tie break.
Daniil claimed it 7-3 with a service winner to forge the advantage after 53 minutes. Raising his level, Nadal lost six points on serve in set number two and kept the pressure on Medvedev. Rafa grabbed a break in the first game after a loose forehand from the Russian.
Delivering one good hold after another, Nadal clinched another return game at 5-3 to close the set in style and gather momentum ahead of the decider. Instead, Daniil earned breaks in games one and three to forge a 4-0 advantage.
With a boost on his side, he created 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. He saved a match point with a perfect drop shot at 1-5 and pulled 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 one in the tenth point when Daniil's forehand landed long. The Spaniard sealed the deal at 6-4 following his rival's backhand mistake, celebrating a significant victory and staying in the semi-final chase.
"I will be honest. For around a week or two, I was disappointed about that match. If I had won that one, I would have had chances to qualify for the semi-final. Beating Rafa would have significantly boosted confidence, but these things happen.
I should learn from it, and, from the other side, I should leave it behind because that's a match I should have won. Nothing occurred to be depressed about; I knew I had to continue working and think about the future. I try not to think about the past too much but only about the present and future," Daniil Medvedev said.