'Beating Rafael Nadal would have been a boost of confidence,' Medvedev recalls

‘Beating Rafael Nadal would have been a boost of confidence,’ Medvedev recalls

Daniil Medvedev made the ATP Finals debut in 2019 following a great run in the second part of the season. The Russian gave his best in London, but he lost all three encounters. Daniil had a chance to topple world no. 1 Rafael Nadal, opening a 5-1 lead in the decider and squandering a match point in a 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 loss.

Nadal overcame the deficit and prevailed after two hours and 46 minutes for another thrilling win over Medvedev following the US Open final. Speaking about the match, Daniil said he felt disappointed for a week or two after a tough loss.

He tried to take positive notes from it and improve his game ahead of the following notable encounters. It was their third meeting and the third triumph for Rafa, who claimed three points more than his rival and scored the crucial break at 4-5 in the deciding set before winning the tie break.

World no. 1 fended off four out of six break chances and earned four breaks from nine opportunities. He prevailed after saving a match point for the first time since Beijing 2017. Rafa had 26 winners and 27 unforced errors, improving his level significantly in comparison to that first clash against Zverev in the first match.

The 19-time Major champion overpowered Daniil in the mid-range exchanges, neutralizing 41 winners and 40 mistakes from the Russian and delivering essential 200 points in the year-end no. 1 battle with Novak Djokovic.

Daniil Medvedev wasted a 5-1 lead and a match point against Rafael Nadal in London.

The Spaniard saved a break chance in the opener’s game seven to reach a tie break, and the Russian claimed it 7-3 with a service winner after 53 minutes.

Raising his level, Nadal lost six points on serve in set number two and kept the pressure on Medvedev. He grabbed a break in the first game after a loose forehand from the Russian. Delivering one good hold after another, Rafa secured another break in game nine to close the set in style and gather momentum ahead of the decider.

Instead, Daniil earned breaks in games one and three to forge a 4-0 advantage and created two more chances on the return in the fifth game that could have pushed him further ahead. Rafa repelled those and found the energy to climb back.

He saved a match point with a perfect drop shot at 1-5 and pulled the second break back at 4-5 to extend the clash and his chances. There were no mini-breaks in the first nine points of the tie break, and Rafa scored one in the tenth point when Daniil’s forehand landed long.

The Spaniard sealed the deal at 6-4 following his rival’s backhand mistake to celebrate a significant victory and remain in the semi-final chase. “I will be honest. I was disappointed about that match for a week or two.

If I had won that one, I would have had a chance to qualify for the semi-final. Beating Rafa would have significantly boosted confidence, but these things happen. I should learn from it, as I should have won that one. Nothing occurred to be depressed about; I knew I had to continue working and think about the future. I try not to think about the past too much but only about the present and future,” Daniil Medvedev said.

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