At the ATP Finals, Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev engaged in a few nail-biting matches, pushing one another to the edge and pulling off numerous comebacks and turnarounds. To defeat Daniil in 2019 by scores of 6-7, 6-3, and 7-6 required two hours and forty-six minutes of work from Rafa.
In the decider, the Spaniard fell behind 5-1 but held off a match point in the seventh game to secure victory. It was an important point in Nadal‘s competition with Novak Djokovic for the top slot at the end of the year, especially after a poor showing in the opening match against Alexander Zverev.
After establishing such a sizable lead in the final set, Daniil remarked he would love to replay the match and the match point he had, and play at a greater level. It was their third encounter, and Rafa had won three times.
He earned three more points than his opponent and broke at 4-5 in the decisive set to keep himself in the match before winning. After saving a match point for the first time since Beijing 2017, the world number one fended off four of six break attempts and won his maiden set by taking four breaks from nine possibilities.
With 26 victories and 27 unforced errors, Rafa dramatically raised his game from the first match he played the German. The 19-time Major champion defeated Daniil in the mid-range exchanges and neutralized the Russian’s 41 victories and 40 errors to gain crucial 200 points in the year’s final ranking.
1 conflict. The superior player in the first set was Medvedev, who lost a break opportunity at 3-3 before winning the tie break with a service winner after 53 minutes. Raising his game, Nadal dropped six serve points in the second set and continued to put Medvedev under pressure.
After the Russian’s errant forehand in the opening game, he defeated the younger opponent for a much better position.
At the 2019 ATP Finals, Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev by saving a match point.
Rafa continued to provide solid holds, and in game nine he added a second break to finish the set off well and gain momentum for the decider.
Daniil, however, had other ideas. He secured breaks in games one and three to quickly build a 4-0 lead and produced two more opportunities on the return in game five that might have advanced him further up the leaderboard. Rafa fended them off and mustered the strength to climb back.
With a flawless drop shot on match point defense at 1-5, he increased his chances of winning. At 4-5, he pulled the second break back. Before Rafa made the decisive mini-break in the tenth point of the tie break when Daniil’s forehand landed long, there were no mini-breaks in the first nine points of the tie break.
Following his opponent’s backhand error, the Spaniard sealed the deal a short while later and celebrated one of the most important wins of the year. “I have to be honest; after the match point in London versus Rafael Nadal, what else can I say? It turns out to be a simple question, contrary to what I had initially believed “explained Daniil Medvedev.