World number one men’s singles player, Rafael Nadal, and world number two, Novak Djokovic, were knocked out in the semifinals of the ongoing ATP Finals by Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem respectively.
On Saturday, world number four Medvedev rallied from one set down to beat Nadal 3-6, 7-6(7-4), 6-3, to reaching his first final at the ATP Finals and set the marquee clash with world number three Thiem.
Nadal, 20-time Grand Slam champion, looked on course to continue his quest for the season-ending titles after a comprehensive first-set win.
However, he was quickly down 0-3 in the second set. Nadal showed great determination to come from behind to lead 5-4, but the Russian refused to give up with powerful serves and strong forehands.
In the final set, the 34-year-old Spaniard couldn’t think about anything to restrict his determined opponent and squandered another chance to win the ATP Finals in his more than 15-year-old professional career.
Medvedev can become the fourth player to triumph at the year-end championships at the O2 Arena following a winless debut.
Earlier, in the other semi-final, Thiem had edged world number one Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-7(12-10), 7-6(7-5) to reach the final of the year-ending tournament for the second consecutive year.
Thiem broke serve at 5-5 in the first set and sealed it with an ace. Djokovic, however, grinded his way to victory in the second set, denying Thiem the win despite the Austrian getting four chances to seal the game.
The third game was also pushed to a tiebreaker, which was started by Thiem but he went on to lose the next three points. He, however, roared back to win the next six points and while Djokovic saved a fifth match point, Thiem got the job done at the next opportunity.