LONDON, November 13, 2019
Rafael Nadal saved a match point to beat Russian Daniil Medvedev and boost his hopes of a first Nitto ATP Finals title on Wednesday afternoon. In the pair’s third meeting, their first since the US Open final, the World No. 1 from Spain saved a match point and came storming back from from 5-1 down in the deciding set to secure a 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory.
Nadal withstood 21 aces from the Russian and broke his rival’s serve four times to prevail after two hours and 46 minutes. The 33-year-old Spaniard showed true grit and tenacity to find his way back into a final set that had the possibility of being lost to love at one stage.
From 1-5 & match point down in the deciding set…@RafaelNadal produced a simply spectacular comeback.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 13, 2019
”Honestly, I’ve been super lucky,” Nadal said. “Sorry for Daniil. It’s a tough loss. He was playing much better than me in the third set. It’s one of these days, one out of 1,000, where you win. I played much better today than two days ago, so that is a big positive for me.”
After his loss in his opening match to Alexander Zverev on Monday, Nadal improved to 1-1 in Group Andre Agassi.
”I know from my personal experience how tough it is to close out matches, especially when you have two breaks in front and you lose the first one. [At 3-5], I thought I had a chance. I think I was a little bit better in the end. In general terms, I think I was playing much better than two days ago, so that’s a very positive thing for me.”
Medvedev, a debutant at the season finale in London, had not beaten Nadal in his career and with the possibility of doing so, lost his way in the closing stages.
I just need to close out such matches,” the 23-year-old Russian said. “I mean, probably need to still continue working mentally as I do every day to be better. Today was not the case. There were many things to tell not good about my mentality on the court, my attitude. So hopefully I’m not going to have matches like this in my career, but we never know. I’m going to try my best to not have them.”
Rojer/Tecau secure first win in London
Earlier in the day, 2015 champions Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania beat the 2019 year-end No. 1 team Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia 6-2, 5-7, 10-8 in Group Max Mirnyi over 90 minutes. The duo, who clinched titles at the ATP Masters in Madrid as well as at the Swiss Indoors in Basel are now 1-1 in round-robin play.