Daniil Medvedev's triumph at the ATP Finals has earned public acclaim from Russia president Vladimir Putin, who said he "demonstrated great preparation, mastery and truly fighting spirit".

World number four Medvedev won a barnstorming final against Dominic Thiem in the last showpiece to be held at London's O2 Arena before the season-ending tournament moves to Turin in 2021.

Medvedev came from a set down to defeat the US Open champion - who had beaten him en route to glory at Flushing Meadows - to secure the biggest title of his career.

In doing so, Medvedev became the second Russian to win the event after Nikolay Davydenko in 2009.

Putin posted a telegram on the Kremlin's official website on Tuesday, part of which was quoted by Russian news agency TASS, to congratulate Medvedev.

"You went through the whole ATP Finals tournament brilliantly and, in one breath, you demonstrated great preparation, mastery and truly fighting spirit in beautiful and tense matches," the telegram read. 

"Your victory continues great traditions of the Russian tennis school."

Medvedev and Thiem each scored wins over both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to reach Sunday's showpiece.

Speaking on Monday, Medvedev said it will be difficult for any of the chasing pack to become world number one while ever those two greats are still playing.

"It's still a long way to get to the top of the line [in the ATP rankings]," Medvedev told TASS.

"You have to complete the season better than all the rest to become the world's number one. Sometimes 8,000 points can be sufficient but on other occasions 12,000 points are not enough. 

"It all depends on me; the more tournaments that I’ll have like in Paris and London, the more chances I’ll get to top of the ATP rankings."

Daniil Medvedev expressed his desire for more matches against Dominic Thiem on the biggest stages after revelling in one of his "best victories" to become ATP Finals champion.

The Russian won a thriller at London's O2 Arena, coming from behind to win 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to overcome an opponent who had defeated him in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Medvedev and Thiem had beaten Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic respectively to reach Sunday's showpiece, which marked the last in the English capital before Turin becomes host to the Finals in 2021.

The world number four had nothing but praise for Thiem, who went on to win the title at Flushing Meadows, when addressing his win after the match.

"First of all, what a match. Maybe one of my best victories," the champion said.

"I mean, two hours 42, three sets against an amazing player, Dominic congrats for what you achieved in your career, I think your name is already in the history books of tennis.

"So, it's amazing, you won a grand slam this year. I mean, you're playing unbelievable. I hope we're going to have many more matches to come on the big occasions like this - semi-final of the US Open and final here - so congrats to you and your team. You're doing an amazing job."

The respect was returned by Thiem, who was typically classy in defeat and reflected on a season that saw him make his major breakthrough.

"Of course, I'm disappointed, but at the same time I'm also proud of the performance, of all the week," he said.

"Daniil really deserves it. Amazing match, congrats for, in general, another great year as well.

"Amazing month, November, with the Bercy [Paris Masters], title here and I hope we have many great matches to come. It was a pleasure today even though I lost.

"And thanks also to my team for all the support - without the crowd it's even more important.

"Thanks a lot, we had an unbelievable year as well. Thanks for taking care of me in all the bubbles and I can't wait for other great years with all of you."

Daniil Medvedev roared back from a set down to defeat Dominic Thiem and become the ATP Finals champion after a titanic tussle at the O2 Arena in London.

Medvedev earned the biggest prize of his career in a 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 triumph in the last final held in London before the tournament moves to Turin next year.

It was a fitting end to the English capital's run as Medvedev produced a valiant fight back on the back of 37 winners to become the second Russian ATP Finals victor, becoming the first to defeat the world's top three players to do so in the process on Sunday.

Medvedev, who defeated Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, gains a measure of revenge for his last-four defeat to eventual champion Thiem at the US Open, with his Austrian opponent – a winner over Novak Djokovic on Saturday – losing the showpiece match for the second year running.

Thiem staved off a break point with a huge ace in his mammoth first service game but there was little to separate two players in great form in a slog of a first set.

In the end it was a costly lapse in concentration where Medvedev dropped five straight points on serve – one a glorious reverse forehand drop-shot from Thiem that preceded an ugly double fault for the break.

Thiem, who matched his opponent with 12 winners in the first set, clinched the opener with a fortuitous net chord that brought a wry smile from Medvedev.

Medvedev was more grimacing than smiling as he had to dig deep on serve in games five and seven, though, as the quality on display from both players increased.

But the Russian held his nerve to force the breaker and, after losing the first two points, reeled off seven in a row to force the decider against Thiem.

With the momentum shifting, Thiem survived from 0-40 in game three but – after saving a couple more break points – finally slipped behind at his next service game when an audacious backhand was followed by a clinical volley by Medvedev. 

Thiem refused to yield and made his opponent fight for every point but a huge serve from Medvedev was unreturnable to leave the 2019 US Open runner-up celebrating.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev – 37/30
Thiem – 29/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev – 12/3
Thiem – 6/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev – 1/9
Thiem – 1/4

Rafael Nadal's wait for a first ATP Finals win rolls on for at least another year after he slumped out in the semis to Daniil Medvedev in London.

The world number two has 86 singles titles, including 20 majors, to his name, yet the season-ending showdown is not counted among his honours, and it was Medvedev who progressed to a final with last year's runner-up Dominic Thiem thanks to a 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 success.

Medvedev was in relentless form, though Nadal pulled out his full repertoire of shots to take the lead in the opener before clawing himself back from 4-1 down in the second set tie-break.

Ultimately, though, Medvedev had too much and, after clinching the second set, maintained the momentum to break twice in the decider and claim his first win over Nadal.

After an aggressive start, Medvedev had three chances to break in game three, yet the Russian failed to take the opportunity to nose himself ahead.

Nadal, however, made no such mistake five games later as he constructed an excellent rally from the baseline before drawing world number four Medvedev into an overhit forehand.

The set was wrapped up in Nadal's favour at the first time of asking, but Medvedev responded in force and a double-fault from Nadal handed him the next break.

Medvedev had a second break in his sights at 4-1 up, yet a missed cross-court backhand gave Nadal a reprieve, and the 34-year-old hammered home a venomous serve.

An emphatic Medvedev ace saved a break point, but a pair of volleys put Nadal on the front foot, with the southpaw then lashing a cross-court forehand beyond his opponent.

More clinical shots dragged Nadal level and what looked set to be a crucial break followed – the 13-time French Open champion lifting a delicate lob down the line after Medvedev had closed in on the net.

Yet Nadal went from serving to win the match to serving to stay in the set within the space of nine points.

Nadal held his nerve to force a tie-break, in which a slice of good fortune with a lob saw Medvedev take a 6-3 lead, with the set sealed in his favour on the second set point.

The intensity continued into the decider, with blow after blow exchanged until Medvedev – on his third chance – broke with a powerful return, forcing Nadal to serve to stay in the match.

But Medvedev had the answer for everything his opponent threw at him and, after a perfect forehand teed up match point, victory was secured when a tame Nadal shot hit the net.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Medvedev - 42/22
Nadal - 30/30

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Medvedev - 13/3
Nadal - 3/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Medvedev - 4/11
Nadal - 3/4

Dominic Thiem booked his place in a second successive ATP Finals showdown as he overcame four-time champion Novak Djokovic in a magnificent clash on Saturday.

Thiem defeated Djokovic in three sets en route to the 2019 final, which he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas, but the US Open champion let four match points slip in the second set in London this time.

His chance was not gone, though, as a contest lasting two hours and 54 minutes was settled after Thiem had reeled off six straight points to recover from 4-0 down in the second of two tie-breakers.

Djokovic looped a forehand beyond the baseline for the decisive point to go down 7-5 6-7 (10-12) 7-6 (7-5), having failed to convert a single break point across the contest.

For Thiem, a 300th career win secured a return to the final against either Daniil Medvedev or Rafael Nadal.

Thiem had to serve to stay in the opening set at 5-4 down, landing a sensational lob just inside the baseline to prompt applause from Djokovic.

He built momentum from there and took his first break point when he got the ball down at his opponent's toes, then clinching the set with some blistering serves.

Djokovic looked to retaliate swiftly, but Thiem soon had another break point in the fifth game of the second set, although a sloppy forehand gave the Serbian a reprieve.

Thiem was briefly on the back foot and came up with a supreme backhand down the line for one hold before fending off Djokovic twice more to reach a breaker.

A back-and-forth affair saw Thiem race into a two-point lead and then fight back from 4-2 down, before a pair of brilliant serves teed up a first match point which Djokovic saved.

A second went begging thanks to a double-fault as each man struggled on serve, with another two opportunities slipping away before the world's best player clinched the set at the fourth attempt.

Chances were few and far between in the decider, although a superb return from Djokovic garnered Thiem's appreciation at 4-4 as the pair headed for another breaker.

Thiem's chances looked slim when Djokovic moved into a 4-0 lead, yet six consecutive points put victory in his grasp and the world number three made the most of his sixth match point.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Thiem - 47/35
Djokovic - 19/25

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Thiem - 12/5
Djokovic - 5/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Thiem - 1/2
Djokovic - 0/3

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

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

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

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