Medvedev Beats Schwartzman, Carries Momentum Into Nadal SF Showdown


What a difference a year makes. Daniil Medvedev went winless at last season’s Nitto ATP Finals, but on Friday, he completed a perfect 3-0 run through Group Tokyo 1970.

Medvedev defeated tournament debutant Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3 to carry plenty of confidence into the semi-finals, in which he will play World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in a rematch of the 2019 US Open final.

Only three players have won the season finale the year after making a winless debut at the prestigious event. Medvedev is now just two victories from becoming the fourth player in that elite group.

The recent Rolex Paris Masters champion is known for his unflappable defence, which he used to frustrate five-time champion Novak Djokovic in a straight-sets victory on Wednesday. But against the Argentine, he played with atypical aggression to triumph after one hour and 14 minutes.

Medvedev, the first Russian to compete in the Nitto ATP Finals in consecutive years since 2009 titlist Nikolay Davydenko (2005-09), has not yet lost a set. He is the only player to go undefeated in group play.

The 24-year-old drives opponents crazy by playing from well behind the baseline and putting them in awkward positions with his defence. But he signaled new intentions on Centre Court against Schwartzman, breaking for a 2-1 lead in the first set with a forehand winner down the line.

Medvedev continued to attack throughout the match, frequenting the net. That left Schwartzman struggling for answers, and he was never able to make enough in-roads with his serve to trouble the World No. 4. The debutant only won 58 per cent of his service points and was broken three times.

Medvedev dominated with his first serve, winning 88 per cent of those points. The three-time ATP Masters 1000 champion also saved the two break points he faced.

The Russian now leads Schwartzman 5-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. He has won 10 of their 11 sets, and all 10 sets he have won have come by a margin of 6-4 or greater.

Schwartzman finishes the best season of his career with a 25-15 record. It was a year of firsts for the Argentine, who cracked the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings and reached his first Masters 1000 final among other accomplishments.

from Tennis – ATP World Tour https://ift.tt/2KhTTI7



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