ATP Finals | Stefanos Tsitsipas makes semifinals

Best in business: Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah were rewarded on Thursday for being the world’s top doubles pair

Best in business: Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah were rewarded on Thursday for being the world’s top doubles pair   | Photo Credit: Getty Images


Rafael Nadal stages stunning comeback

Debutant Stefanos Tsitsipas crushed defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to book his place in the last four of the ATP Finals with a match to spare.

The 21-year-old, the first Greek player to qualify for the elite eight-man season-ender, backed up his opening win over Russian Daniil Medvedev with a virtuoso performance at the O2 Arena.

His straight-set victory secured a top-two place in the group and left Zverev, World No.1 Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev scrapping to join him in Saturday’s semifinals.

Earlier, Nadal produced an incredible fightback to beat Medvedev and keep his hopes alive, saving a match point at 1-5 down in the decider before winning 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(4).

Quality game

The evening clash was the youngest, in terms of combined age, at the ATP Finals since Andy Murray played Juan Martin del Potro in 2009, but produced a performance of maturity and sustained quality by Tsitsipas to leave Zverev, 22, in his wake.

The Greek broke in the eighth game when Zverev opted to serve and volley on a second serve but made a mess of a low volley and from that point on it was one-way traffic.

Zverev’s level tailed off alarmingly in the second set and Tsitsipas wrapped things up with an ace.

In the first match, the 33-year-old Nadal looked beaten as 23-year-old debutant Medvedev broke serve twice in the decider to stand on the brink of a first career victory over the Spaniard he pushed to five sets in an epic U.S. Open final in September.

Match-changing shot

For once World No. 1 Nadal’s trademark fighting spirit seemed to have ebbed away but he saved a match point at 5-1 with a superb drop shot and was suddenly re-energised.

Twice Medvedev served for the match, at 5-2 and 5-4, but he tightened up and Nadal, roared on by the 02 Arena crowd, needed no second invitation to take advantage.

Nadal has never won the ATP Finals title, the only gap on a CV that includes 19 Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold.

Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah were presented with the year-end Doubles No. 1 trophy in a special on-court ceremony on Thursday.

The childhood friends celebrated a career-best 2019 season which saw them win the Wimbledon and US Open titles.

The results: Group Andre Agassi: Stefanos Tsitsipas bt Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-2; Rafael Nadal bt Daniil Medvedev 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(4).

Group Bjorn Borg: Matteo Berrettini bt Dominic Thiem 7-6(3), 6-3.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:05:58 AM |

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