Daniil Medvedev loses Russian ATP Finals battle to Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev won the battle of the Russians at the ATP Finals when he began his campaign with a 6-7 (7), 6-3, 7-6 (7) win over compatriot Daniil Medvedev. It was the first time in seven years that two players from the same country had met in the season-ending event, as both suffered bouts of poor form before the World No. 7 ultimately won in two hours and 30 minutes.
Medvedev and Rublev were meeting for the sixth time with their record heavily in favor of the 2020 champion who had won four of their five meetings, although the world No. 7 won their most recent meeting in Cincinnati last year. And Rublev seemed to pick up where he left off in their last meeting, as he looked like the better player in the early stages of the match, breaking for a 3-1 lead.
The World No.5 managed to raise his level a few games later and earned a crucial break when his compatriot served for the first set, with Medvedev getting lucky with a couple of strings at the net before Rublev double faulted. The top-ranked Russian then saved two set points on his serve before forcing a tie break in which Rublev squandered four more set points and went from a 6-2 lead to 6-6.
It was Medvedev who ultimately stole the set 7-6(7) in 52 minutes after saving seven match points as the world number 7 began to vent his frustrations on chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani after being left unhappy with a pair of calls during the tiebreaker after losing. the enormous advantage of it. Despite suffering a mental breakdown late in the first set, it was Rublev who got the break early again in the second set, taking a 2-1 lead as Medvedev began to complain with his box of players.
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This time, the 25-year-old managed to maintain his lead and broke for the second time to take the set 6-3 when the World No.5 hit his seventh double fault of the set to give Rublev a second break and force a decider. . Medvedev continued to struggle as he was forced to save a break point in his first service game of the third and final set, with his unforced error count topping 20.
The 2020 champion then failed to drop a point in his next four service games as he continued to snap at Rublev’s heels at 5-5. Serving to stay in the match at 5-6, he then found himself in a three deuce game as he held on to force a tie break in what was the first three-set singles clash of the tournament.
The breaker began with an epic 38-shot rally won by Rublev, with the young Russian winning another long 33-shot exchange to take a 3-2 lead on serve before firing a forehand winner to win the first mini- break but once again the 12-time title winner lost his tie-break advantage to find himself at 6-6 after holding three match points at 6-3. Rublev earned his fifth match point thanks to another Medvedev error and ultimately wrapped up a 6-7(7) 6-3 7-6(7) victory to mark his third ATP Finals victory.
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