Daniil Medvedev is enjoying the ATP Finals a lot better in his second attendance. Medvedev secured a spot in the semifinals of the season-ending tournament by dominating five-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 Wednesday for his second consecutive triumph of the group stage.
Medvedev, who lost all three of his group matches last year in his tournament debut, has now beaten Djokovic in three of their past four meetings. The top-ranked Serb can still advance if he defeats 2018 champion Alexander Zverev in a winner-takes-all match on Friday. Zverev kept his tournament hopes alive with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartzman earlier Wednesday.
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Medvedev broke Djokovic three straight times to go from 3-3 in the first set to a 3-0 lead in the second.
The first break came after a marathon game when the Russian finally converted his third break point after Djokovic missed a forehand following a long rally.
Djokovic then double-faulted on set point and never looked likely to stage a comeback in the second. Medvedev saved the only break point he faced at 2-0 and then secured the victory with a forehand winner on his first match point.
“He was just better, no question about it,” Djokovic said. ”Just not a great match from my side. I thought I could have and should have done better, but credit to him for playing on a high level.”
Medvedev is looking a lot more comfortable at the O2 Arena than last year, when his three losses included a collapse against Rafael Nadal in a match he led 5-1 in the third set.
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“You always have doubts in your head, like maybe next year is going to be [like] last year in London, I’m going to go out there and be tight, again, I’m not going to show anything in the Masters finals,” Medvedev said. “Well, not the case. Finished No. 1 in the group already, which is great.”