ATP Finals, Daniil Medvedev lifts maiden title: Records broken
Russia's Daniil Medvedev romped past world number three Dominic Thiem 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 to win the Nitto ATP Finals. Notably, the riveting final spanned a record two hours and 43 minutes. The former, who had a winless debut at the season-end championship last year, finished his 2020 tournament sans a single defeat. Here are the records broken in the match.
Thiem did well to save the first eight break points he faced, having won the first set. However, Medvedev continued to attack his forehand, which handed him a tie-break win in the following one. Eventually, the Russian won the final set rather easily. While Medvedev lost only two first-serve points (14/16) in the deciding set, he struck 12 aces in the entire match.
With a formidable victory, Medvedev has become the first player to beat the world's top-three players at the ATP Finals. Besides beating Thiem, the Russian also defeated five-time champion Novak Djokovic and world number two Rafael Nadal, earlier in the week. Overall, Medvedev is now the fourth player after David Nalbandian, Djokovic, and Boris Becker to beat the world's top-three at a single event.
Medvedev entered the Rolex Paris Masters (in November) with a season record of 18-10. He was without a win against Top 10 opponents. Since lifting his third ATP Masters 1000 trophy, the 24-year-old has won 10 consecutive matches, including seven against the Top 10.
A year ago, Medvedev failed to secure a single win at the season finale. However, he successfully erased the daunting memories as he remained undefeated this time. His run in the season finale read as- vs Alexander Zverev (6-3, 6-4), vs Djokovic (6-3, 6-3), vs Diego Schwartzman (6-3, 6-3), vs Nadal (3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3), vs Thiem (4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4).
Medvedev is the sixth different champion at the ATP Finals in as many years. The likes of Djokovic (2015), Murray (2016), Grigor Dimitrov (2017), Alexander Zverev (2018), and Stefanos Tsitsipas (2019) have been the previous champions. This has happened only once before (1974-1979).
Medvedev is the first player from his country to win the year-end championships since Nikolay Davydenko (in 2009). Also, he now trails the ATP head-to-head with runner-up Thiem 3-2. Thiem trounced Medvedev in straight sets at the US Open, a couple of months ago. Interestingly, the final lasted two hours and 43 minutes, the longest best-of-three set finale in the ATP Finals history.
Medvedev, who scripted history at the prestigious tournament, expressed his contentment. "I think it was the toughest victory in my life because Dominic is a really tough player. He was at his best," he said. "Maybe it's not the case, but that's what I felt during the match. He was really close to winning it [in the] second set. I managed to stay there."