Daniil Medvedev maintained the last remaining 100 per cent record at the ATP Finals to head into his last-four meeting with Rafael Nadal on a high.

The world number four had not dropped a set against Alexander Zverev or Novak Djokovic and showed the already-eliminated Diego Schwartzman no mercy in a 6-3 6-3 success on Friday.

Medvedev wasted little time in taking command of proceedings, even if Schwartzman battled to an initial hold.

The Russian led at the next opportunity, picking out the right corner of the court with his forehand and then racing through his own service games to preserve his advantage.

A sharp increase in pressure then allowed Medvedev to clinch the opener on Schwartzman's serve, despite seeing an outrageous stretching return to tee up set point go to waste.

Medvedev converted next time, following up a blistering cross-court effort by blasting straight through his opponent at the net.

The breakthrough in the second again came in Schwartzman's second service game, with the third of three break points a sweetly struck backhand.

That was enough to seal victory, Medvedev breezing through this dead rubber - served out to love - before the real business continues against Nadal in Saturday's semi-final.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev - 30/19
Schwartzman - 13/8

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev - 4/1
Schwartzman - 0/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev - 3/9
Schwartzman - 0/2

Novak Djokovic acknowledged he will have to be at his best to beat Dominic Thiem in their ATP Finals semi-final match on Saturday.

World number one Djokovic clinched a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory over Alexander Zverev in the final group match of the tournament to secure a last-four meeting with Thiem.

Djokovic, who is seeking to equal Roger Federer's record of six titles at the end-of-season tournament, has four career victories over Thiem but has also suffered three defeats.

Speaking in an on-court interview after his win over Zverev on Friday, Djokovic predicted a tough but an exciting match with Thiem at London's O2 Arena.

He said: "Obviously earlier in his career Dominic played his best on clay, but of course being one of the hardest workers on the ATP Tour and most dedicated players, Dominic found his A game on all other surfaces.

“His first [Grand] Slam came on hard courts earlier this year in New York. I played him last year here and lost 7-6 in the third set. It was really a thrilling match.

"Hopefully we can have another great match, but hopefully this time with another outcome."

Djokovic's victory over Zverev was his 41st victory of the year which equalled Andrey Rublev’s Tour-leading mark of 41 wins this season.

The 33-year-old Serbian was able to capitalise on an early break in the first set against Zverev before he held his nerve in a second-set tie-break to secure victory.

And despite suffering a defeat to Daniil Medvedev earlier in the tournament Djokovic said he had confidence in his abilities to come through the decisive match with Zverev.

"I felt great. Early in the first set he had a couple of break point chances. I managed to serve well in the important moments and contrary to the last match against Daniil, I just managed to find the right shots at the right time,” he added.

“I have tremendous respect for Alexander. He’s a great player, huge serve. Obviously not easy to return the 140 miles per hour first serves.

"Sometimes just have to pick your side, block, hope you can be in the exchanges in the rallies from the back of the court.

"It was really anybody’s game, I think, for most of the match. In the tie-break I just read his approach from 4-3, served well when I needed to close out the match."

Novak Djokovic booked his place in the semi-finals of the ATP Finals after a hard-fought victory over Alexander Zverev.

The five-time champion clinched a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over the German as he wrapped up his place in the last four at London's O2 Arena in one hour and 36 minutes.

With three semi-final spots already decided, Friday's match was a winner-takes-all showdown to see who would be the last player to progress from the group stage.

Djokovic cruised through the first set but required a tie-break to overcome his opponent in a tense second set as Zverev briefly threatened a fightback.

The 33-year-old Serbian, who won the ATP Finals in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, will play Dominic Thiem in his semi-final on Saturday with Rafael Nadal taking on Daniil Medvedev in the other match.

World number one Djokovic had beaten Zverev three times in their past five meetings before this one and began the contest in commanding fashion.

Djokovic breezed through his opening service game, producing a superb drop volley, before he took control of the set with a key break.

Djokovic had managed just a solitary break point in the whole match during a defeat to Medvedev on Wednesday, but when offered an early chance on Zverev's serve he nailed a crosscourt passing shot before his opponent double faulted.

The early mistake cost world number seven Zverev, who was unable to find a way back in as a resolute Djokovic saved two break points at 4-2.

Djokovic then closed out his service games, as he sealed the first set with a backhand down the line which the 23-year-old Zverev had no answer for.

The second set was a much tighter affair, with both players saving break points early on, before taking charge of their respective services games to force a tie-break.

Zverev took a 2-0 lead but Djokovic got himself level and then secured the crucial mini-break with a classy backhand winner to make it 5-3.

At 6-4 Djokovic held his nerve and produced a powerful forehand to confidently reach the last four in an emphatic manner.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic - 18/13
Zverev - 38/19

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic - 3/3
Zverev  - 12/6

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic - 1/4
Zverev  - 0/3

Rafael Nadal is relishing his first last-four chance at the ATP Finals since 2015, though his only regret is fans cannot be in attendance at the O2 Arena.

Nadal booked his semi-final spot with a 6-4 4-6 6-2 triumph over defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in London on Thursday.

The 20-time grand slam champion cruised in the first set but allowed world number six Tsitsipas to hit back in the second, though successive breaks at the start of the decider all but settled the contest.

Nadal has never won the ATP Finals, with this the sixth time the Spanish star has made it to the semis in what is the last occasion the season-ending tournament will be played in London before its move to Turin next year.

While delighted to have sealed his last-four place – with a clash against world number one Novak Djokovic potentially next up – Nadal is disappointed he can not share the moment with fans, with crowds at sporting events in the United Kingdom still banned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I think I played quite well, for such a long time. That game, 5-4 in the second set, affected me a little bit," Nadal said in his on-court interview.

"I think I was quite comfortable until that moment, after that everything changed a bit, I started to serve a little bit worse but at the end a very positive match for me and for me to be in the semi-finals is another important thing.

"Last year I was a bit unlucky not to be in the semi-finals, the year before I had to pull out.

"It's always difficult to play here, against the best players in the world every single day, at the end of the season. This year is a little bit different.

"Sad for the situation, normally after this good match the atmosphere would be fantastic as always. It's a different story.

"It's sad to say goodbye to this amazing place, but it's what we are facing around the world so I'm just excited to be in the semi-finals and hope to be ready to try my best."

Nadal – an ATP Finals runner-up in 2010 and 2013 – also conceded that, with England currently in a state of nation-wide lockdown, he has found it harder to fill his time while not on the court.

"We can't complain at all, we are very lucky to be practicing our sport in very difficult conditions so we can't complain," the 34-year-old added.

"At the same time, it's a bit more boring than usual, with no chance to go out for dinner, so days in the middle are a bit longer, but I'm happy to have a good team around me, I'm trying to stay organised, stay impassioned."

Nadal joins US Open champion Dominic Thiem, last year's beaten finalist, in the semi-finals.

Rafael Nadal survived a fightback from Stefanos Tsitsipas to secure his spot in the last four of the ATP Finals at the expense of the defending champion. 

Searching for his first triumph in the season-ending competition, Nadal was made to work for his sixth career win over the world number six, eventually triumphing 6-4 4-6 6-2 at London's O2 Arena. 

With Dominic Thiem – who Tsitsipas defeated in last year's final – having already qualified, Thursday's clash was a battle to see who else would progress from the group. 

Nadal, who has now won 71 successive matches in which he has gone a set ahead, cruised in the opener - dropping just five points on his serve - and despite a comeback in the second, Tsitsipas' count of 21 unforced errors effectively ended his hopes.

Nadal failed to take the first two break points on offer in the contest, though a pair of unforced Tsitsipas errors nosed the Spaniard ahead. 

The set was wrapped up six minutes later thanks to successive aces, and the pressure was back on Tsitsipas at the start of set two, though he escaped with a brilliant cross-court backhand. 

Having only lost five points on his serve in the opener, Nadal cruised in the next game, though his opponent continued to hold and, at 5-4, finally created an opportunity.

A superb backhand pass and an excellent dink from the net put him 30-0 up and while Nadal hit back, a risky drop shot earned Tsitsipas two set points. 

However, Tsitsipas undid his hard work at the start of the decider, handing Nadal a break back with three unforced errors. 

Nadal seemed to be cruising in the second game only for Tsitsipas to hit back, the world number two going long with a lob before then finding the net. 

Tsitsipas once again failed to make the most of his opportunity, though, and a fourth successive break followed as Nadal reclaimed the advantage – a lead he would not relinquish. 

Despite dropping the next two points, he clinched the first hold of the decider 19 minutes into the set before more unforced Tsitsipas errors allowed the French Open champion to seal victory at the second time of asking.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal - 29/12
Tsitsipas - 24/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal - 8/1
Tsitsipas - 8/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal - 4/8
Tsitsipas - 2/3

Andrey Rublev signed off from the ATP Finals with a surprise victory over Dominic Thiem in London. 

The Russian took advantage of an off day for his opponent to score a 6-2 7-5 victory, a fine way to end a year in which he has won a tour-leading five titles. 

Thiem was already assured of a semi-final place before Thursday's clash at the O2, while Rublev was certain to go home, having already lost to Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

Rather than Thiem completing a clean sweep of his three round-robin matches, however, it was Rublev who began on the front foot and coasted through the opening set. 

Rublev had squandered a match point with a double fault against Tsitsipas, and he clearly had a point to prove. Had he taken that opportunity on Tuesday, there would have been considerably more on the line in this contest. 

Thiem, one short of 300 career wins, hauled his way back from 4-2 behind to lead 5-4 on serve in the second set, but this was not a match when the US Open winner was at his best.

Rublev had a sniff on the Thiem serve at 5-5, forcing three break points and taking the third of those when the Austrian floated a backhand volley wide. 

He sealed victory with an ace, and later said on BBC Two: "I started well from the first return. I don't think Domi started well and I took advantage from the beginning. 

"In the end it was not easy for Domi but I think he is now focused on the semis and I wish him the best of luck. 

"He deserves to be where he is and he deserves to win the title, so we'll see what will happen." 

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Rublev - 26/9
Thiem - 16/15

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Rublev - 11/0
Thiem - 10/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Rublev - 4/10
Thiem - 1/1

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews expects the 2021 Australian Open to be held in a "bubble" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After suggestions lead-up events would be held in Victoria, reports on Tuesday said the Australian government was denying players entry in December.

Andrews reaffirmed his confidence the event at Melbourne Park would go ahead, although it remains uncertain exactly when, and under what conditions.

But he said on Thursday that any plan for the tournament would likely see it held in a bubble, which is what players endured during this year's US Open in New York and is an idea previously discussed by Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley.

"I think a bubble arrangement would be an important feature of any final landing," Andrews told a news conference.

"Again, I'm not someone who runs tennis tournaments but logic tells you not only to protect public health, so keeping participants who've come from the rest of the world, which is on fire at the moment with the numbers we're seeing are just like nothing we've seen before, you've got to keep those people away from the Victorian community for a period of time and you also need to keep them away from each other to protect the integrity of the event.

"In the event that there's a positive case and you've not been bubbling people and having people separated then you might have to isolate half the field, which would of course make running the tournament very difficult so for all those reasons.

"I think that a bubble however constructed will be a feature and not just that, that's the way cricket will operate, that's the way the grand prix will operate some time later and many, many other events."

Victoria on Thursday recorded a 20th consecutive day without a coronavirus case.

There have been more than 1.3 million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide, with 907 in Australia.

Novak Djokovic urged the government to support players heading into the Australian Open, the world number one calling for authorities to sanction lead-up tournaments while quarantining.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is confident the 2021 Australian Open will go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over international travel.

There have been reports pre-Australian Open events will be held in Victoria, rather than around Australia in cities like Sydney and Brisbane, in order to minimise travel ahead of the year's opening grand slam in Melbourne.

Initial reports suggested players would arrive in Australia in mid-December to undertake mandatory quarantine of two weeks before competing, though the ATP has since pointed to plans for January.

Asked about the looming Australian Open, defending champion and record-setting eight-time winner Djokovic told reporters following his ATP Finals loss to Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday: "There's several options I hear that are on the table and I think Tennis Australia has been very communicative and very open with the process with us players.

"I'm very pleased with the way Craig Tiley and the other staff from Tennis Australia have been trying to fight for us as best conditions as is possible for the players. But it's also not in their hands obviously, the government of Australia decides and Victoria on the conditions and restrictions and so forth.

"As far as I know so far, the Australian Open will happen whether it's in the current week or the week later. If that's what's necessary then yes I would understand the Australian Open being pushed a week later. Even though the tournaments post-Australian Open would get hurt.

"So we have to, as men's and women's tennis and the ATP, WTA, everybody involved, we have to consider what are the ramifications of maybe potentially some decisions that are going to be made in terms of the calendar in Australia and how that's going to affect the Tour after that. I'm planning to play the Australian Open for sure, I would like to go there and I'm ready to quarantine for two weeks and whatever is necessary for me to be able to play.

"I hope that there's going to be support and understanding from the Australian government for the players and for Tennis Australia and they will allow players to compete in the second week of quarantine and hopefully that's going to help immensely with the calendar and everything and you won't be then losing a week, you'll be able to have a tournament or two prior to the Australian Open which for the majority of the players is important obviously for a lot of the players.

"They were done with the season in Paris and then potentially having no tournaments or official matches before the Australian Open, before a grand slam, is a huge thing. Hopefully we'll be able to have at least a tournament before the Australian Open."

Djokovic was easily swept aside by Russian star Medvedev 6-3 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London midweek.

Eyeing a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals trophy, Djokovic uncharacteristically tallied 28 unforced errors as he tasted defeat for just the fourth time this year, compared to 40 wins.

"I was a little bit [feeling unwell]," the 17-time major champion said about his fitness. "Especially towards the end of the first set and beginning of the second. I kind of regrouped and felt better towards the end of the match. But just an unfortunate 15-20 minutes for me that resulted with seven games in a row lost. Against a player like Medvedev then the match is done."

Djokovic – who will next meet Alexander Zverev for a spot in the final four – added: "He was a better player and deserved to win, no doubt about it."

Daniil Medvedev produced a near faultless performance to book his place in the last four of the ATP Finals by comfortably beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

Medvedev has typically presented Djokovic with more problems than most on the ATP Tour, though the world number one went into this Group Tokyo 1970 clash with a 4-2 edge in their head-to-head record.

However, Djokovic looked bereft of answers as Medvedev cruised to a 6-3 6-3 win at the O2 Arena, making only 12 unforced errors in 18 games.

It marked the first best-of-three-sets match between the two not to go the distance since Djokovic's triumph at Eastbourne in 2017, with Medvedev now having won three of their last four meetings.

Djokovic, whose match with Alexander Zverev on Friday will decide the other semi-finalist from the group, was under pressure early on and staved off a pair of break points in the third game.

Two more went begging for Medvedev in the seventh before the pressure eventually told at the fifth attempt.

An uncharacteristically sloppy Djokovic surrendered the set with his fourth double fault and the momentum stayed with Medvedev thereafter as he raced into a 3-0 lead in the second, saving the only break point he faced in the process.

Service games became increasingly routine for Medvedev, with Djokovic posing little threat, and an authoritative forehand rounded off one of the more impressive wins of the world number four's burgeoning career.

"To be completely honest I'm sure he didn't play his best today," Medvedev said of Djokovic's performance in his on-court interview. 

"It happens for everybody, the big three are champions because it happens less for them than for other players, still tough to beat them on their bad days.

"He was a little bit slower than usual, serving less good, I knew I had to take my chances. I think he had only one break point. Great match for me."


 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Medvedev: 20/12
Djokovic: 19/28

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS  
Medvedev: 10/4
Djokovic: 3/5

BREAK POINTS WON  
Medvedev: 3/8
Djokovic: 0/1

Alexander Zverev got up and running in the ATP Finals with a hard-fought victory over Diego Schwartzman on Wednesday.

Zverev and Schwartzman lost their opening matches of the season-ending tournament to Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic respectively.

It was 2018 champion Zverev who boosted his chances of advancing from Group Tokyo 1970 despite not being at his best, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London.

World number seven Zverev will face Djokovic in his last group match on Friday as he eyes a semi-final spot, while Schwartzman looks unlikely to advance.

Zverev made a tentative start and found himself a break down at 2-1 after drilling a forehand long, but he broke straight back as a more positive approach paid off.

The unforced errors were mounting for Schwartzman and Zverev made him pay, winning four games in a row and wrapping up the set when the Argentinian sent a forehand beyond the baseline at full stretch on the run.

Zverev forced two break points in the first game of the second and although Schwartzman hung in there to hold, he was unable to prevent the German from taking a 2-1 lead at the next attempt.

Schwartzman showed flashes of brilliance, including a couple of sublime forehand winners, and was back on serve at 3-3 after a fierce Zverev forehand struck the net cord and landed wide.

The Buenos Aires native had the initiative and took it the distance when Zverev blasted a forehand long to lose the set, then earned a code violation for angrily striking a ball high in the air before returning to his chair.

Zverev was in a far better mood after going a break up at 3-2 in the decider by finishing off a well-constructed point with a textbook backhand volley and he had a vital win when Schwartzman crashed a forehand into the net.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Zverev: 30/38
Schwartzman: 21/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Zverev: 10/3
Schwartzman: 0/3

BREAK POINTS WON 
Zverev: 5/12
Schwartzman: 3/9

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is confident the Australian Open will go ahead in 2021, amid concerns over international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tennis Channel reported on Tuesday that the Australian government was not allowing players to enter the country in December.

It came days after reports said lead-up events would be held in Victoria, rather than around Australia, to minimise travel ahead of the year's first grand slam.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Andrews said there was still work to be done with organisers, but he is confident the tournament at Melbourne Park will go ahead.

"There was some reporting, and I'm not being critical of the reporting, but there was some reporting earlier in the week that this was all some sort of done deal, that there would be lead-up tournaments and the Australian Open and the whole thing was finalised," he said.

"I just want to make the point this is incredibly complex. It has to be done safely, it has to be done properly, so that reporting was not accurate.

"We are working very, very closely with Tennis Australia. They are working with all of their partners, we're confident that we'll finish up with an Australian Open. It's a very important event, but there's a lot of work to be done to make sure that's as safe as possible, not just for the broader Victorian community from a public health point of view, but it's got to be safe for those who are involved in the event, staff who work there.

"It's a massive task so there is more work that has to be done and we're deeply engaged with Tennis Australia and others to get that outcome and when that work is finished, we'll be able to say more."

On Wednesday, Victoria recorded its 19th straight day with no coronavirus cases.

Reports had suggested players would arrive in Australia in mid-December to quarantine prior to playing events.

In a note to players on Tuesday, the ATP confirmed there had been changes and it pointed to making plans for January.

"In discussions with Tennis Australia over the past 24 hours, we have been informed there are some new challenges around the previously planned arrival dates for players and team members," it read.

"We continue to work with Tennis Australia on confirming plans for January, and we will provide an update as soon as more information is available in the coming days.

"We understand there is uncertainty about the start of the 2021 season, and we are working as hard as possible to deliver the best possible calendar of events to players, maximising points, jobs and prizemoney opportunities."

Stefanos Tsitsipas stayed in the hunt for more ATP Finals glory by fending off Andrey Rublev in a gripping match at London's O2 Arena, with Rafael Nadal keeping a close eye.

Defending champion Tsitsipas landed a 6-1 4-6 7-6 (8-6) victory, and that was good news for Dominic Thiem whose place in the semi-finals was guaranteed by the outcome on Tuesday.

Rublev can no longer reach the final four, and it will come down to a clash on Thursday evening between Tsitsipas and Nadal to determine who joins Thiem in advancing from the London 2020 group.

Nadal was at courtside to check out his next opponent, and Tsitsipas looked in deep trouble when he faced match point in the deciding tie-break - only for Rublev to double-fault.

Both men came into this match on the back of defeats on Sunday, Tsitsipas edged out in a decider by Thiem while Rublev was beaten in straight sets by Nadal, who then lost to Thiem in a stunning contest on Tuesday afternoon.

This season has seen Rublev win five ATP titles, more than anyone else on tour, but his breakthrough at grand slam and Masters 1000 level has yet to come.

The same can be said for Tsitsipas; however, the Greek triumphed at this tournament last season to take a significant career step.

After Tsitsipas swept through the opening set with little resistance, Rublev stepped it up for the second and nine consecutive games went with serve.

It was a surprise when Rublev broke to level the match, a string of unforeseen errors from Tsitsipas giving up three set points. Rublev required just one, yelling "Come on!" as his opponent sent a forehand long.

Rublev then saved five break points in winning a dramatic third game of the decider, before the tie-break threw up plenty of drama. Tsitsipas had the match in his hands with two serves at 5-4 in the tie-break, but he lost both points and Rublev then blundered when serving at match point.

When Tsitsipas carved out his own match point, a forehand into the net from Rublev settled the outcome.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Tsitsipas: 24/16
Rublev:  26/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Tsitsipas: 10/0
Rublev:  6/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Tsitsipas: 2/9
Rublev: 1/1

An all-time classic at the ATP Finals saw Dominic Thiem beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to close in on a place in the semi-finals. 

The Austrian needed three tie-breaks to take a four-set victory over Nadal at the Australian Open in January and Tuesday's clash in London was similarly played on a knife-edge. 

In the end, Thiem made it three wins in his previous four meetings with the French Open champion, prevailing 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) after nearly two and a half hours of the highest quality tennis at the O2 Arena. 

Nadal enjoyed a one-sided victory over Andrey Rublev in his first match in the group, but this was more in keeping with the three-set battle Thiem had with Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

The level of serving – only 15 points were dropped behind a first serve during the opening 12 games – and the supremacy of the groundstrokes meant there were no break points prior to the first tie-break, Thiem clinching it with an inside-out forehand winner after roaring back from 2-5 down. 

There was no let-up in the standard and intensity of play early in the second either, as summed up by consecutive points in which first Nadal and then Thiem produced astonishing running forehand winners.

Thiem at last got the first break of the match to go 4-3 ahead but the US Open champion promptly surrendered that lead as Nadal refused to give in. 

An uncharacteristically loose game from the Spaniard gifted Thiem three match points, but the 20-time grand slam champion, still waiting for his first ATP Finals trophy, dug deep to keep the contest alive. 

In the second tie-break, a spectacular backhand down the line helped Thiem edge ahead 4-3 and, although Nadal saved two further match points, his sixth defeat of the year was sealed when he pushed a backhand into the tramlines. 

"I think it was a great match from the first to the last point," Thiem, who hit 37 winners to 22 unforced errors, said to Amazon Prime Sport. "I was pretty lucky to get the first set, 2-5 down in the tie-break, and against Rafa, obviously it's nice to win the first set but still I had to stay super focused. 

"I had the feeling the whole match was very high-level but I'm very happy with the way I served. Most of the time I get the first serve in, I'm into the offence. When I was in difficult situations, the serve helped me out a lot." 

Thiem will be the first player to qualify for the semi-finals if Tsitsipas defeats Rublev in the late session.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal: 25/16
Thiem: 37/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal: 2/1
Thiem: 6/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal: 1/2
Thiem: 1/5

Daniil Medvedev recorded his maiden win at the season-ending ATP Finals as he defeated Alexander Zverev for the second time in eight days.

The Russian came out on top in an eventful first set that spanned 51 minutes on his way to recording a 6-3 6-4 triumph against a now-familiar opponent.

Medvedev lost when the pair met in the round-robin stage of the same tournament a year ago, though had come out on top in their most recent encounter, rallying from a set down in the final of the Paris Masters earlier in November.

There was no need for him to go the distance in London, however, as an erratic Zverev who struggled badly on his own serve – including sending down seven double faults – was beaten in straight sets.

Both players lost their opening service games as they struggled to take a grip on proceedings, Medvedev eventually the one to seize control as he finished strongly to seal the opener.

The second set was not so action-packed, though it did include an underarm serve from Medvedev at 30-all in the eighth game, a tactic that paid off as he won the point before offering up an apology.

By that stage the fourth seed had already recorded a break to edge himself ahead, a lead he retained comfortably enough to allow him to serve out the victory.

An angled backhand winner on the run saw Medvedev finish with a flourish, setting him up nicely for a clash with Novak Djokovic – who had earlier defeated Diego Schwartzman – on Wednesday.

"Confidence is a key, for sure. Winning a Masters always helps for confidence," Medvedev told Amazon Prime Sport in his on-court interview.

"It was a little bit shaky from both of us [in the first set]. Second set, it was easier for both of us to hit some winners because we were so tired, we couldn't run any more!"

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Medvedev: 21/19
Zverev: 14/27

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Medvedev: 4/2
Zverev: 3/7

BREAK POINTS WON 
Medvedev: 3/9
Zverev: 1/6

Novak Djokovic kicked off his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title with a straight-sets victory over Diego Schwartzman on Monday.

The world number one, who last won the season-ending event in 2015, needed one hour and 11 minutes to overcome Schwartzman 6-3 6-2 in London.

Schwartzman is competing in the competition for the first time and he made a good start as he broke Djokovic in the third game, but his opponent instantly hit back to level up.

A perfect forehand winner saw Djokovic break Schwartzman – still seeking a first win against the Serbian – in the eighth game before taking the opening set.

The 33-year-old made plain sailing of the second set as he held throughout and twice broke Schwartzman, getting the job done with a powerful forehand volley winner on his third match point.

"It was a close encounter until I broke his serve at 4-3," said Djokovic, who was awarded the year-end number one trophy prior to the match. "I managed the close out the first set.

"Second set, I started swinging through the ball a little more, bit less hesitation from both corners and I was very pleased with the way I played in the second set.

"I must say that it feels very strange to play in front of the empty stands. For all the tennis fans watching on the TV, we love you guys, we miss you guys."

Daniil Medvedev takes on Alexander Zverev in the other Group Tokyo 1970 fixture later on Monday.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Djokovic: 23/12
Schwartzman: 9/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Djokovic: 7/2
Schwartzman: 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Djokovic: 4/6
Schwartzman: 1/2

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