One more time, and it's already 10, Rafa Nadal will not be able to triumph in the ATP Finals. This seemed like the good year, because it arrived fresher, with less game load and without apparent discomfort, but in the semifinals he ran into an opponent who had already threatened him in two of his three previous duels Daniil Medvedev, and that he embroidered it for eliminate the winner of 20 Grand Slams (3-6, 7-6 (4) and 6-3 in 2:35). Rafa is the tennis player with the most unsuccessful participations in a tournament that chokes him. The Russian goes from 0-3 of 2019 to be a finalist and will fight to lift the second trophy for Russia after Nikolay Davydenko in 2009. He will face this Sunday (19:00, #Vamos) Dominic Thiem. In the face to face they are 3-1 in favor of the Austrian. What is certain is that for the fifth consecutive year there will be a new winner after Murray (2016), Dimitrov (2017), Zverev (2018) and Tsitsipas (2019).
Arguably, the new balls gave Nadal the first set. That and his intelligence to read the moment of change. Medvedev It came from not missing one of his first 16 serves and the renewal of the balls after the seventh game hurt him in some way, because he always had to play with seconds and Rafa took advantage of it. Blank break and serve to win the sleeve. Until then, the Spaniard had suffered from the very opposite of the Muscovite. He was not right with his first ones. He had the merit of lifting three break points to put the 2-1 on the scoreboard and then he suffered, but he pushed forward his turns. He obtained a maximum return from a situation and a tennis that did not favor him. The cut backhand was his best weapon against a very tall player (1.98).
It would not be easy to repeat success if the service did not accompany. And Nadal raised his percentages. However, in a silly game he conceded a break on a double fault. Then he had to row against the current and Medvedev did not miss. In fact, it touched the double break, but the one from Manacor saved the furniture with two good services and looked for another opportunity to the rest with subtle blocks. On the way he sat Daniil, literally, with another cut and consummated the break with a great drive passing. Again profit with new balls in a river that had been rough. Genius. The Russian, almost always impassive, was somewhat upset and again lost his serve with a balloon executed with two hands and masterfully by Nadal. And when it was least expected, he failed the world's number two and gave up his next serve on target. He had done the most difficult thing, beat a player so confident two in a row in his turns and he didn't take advantage of it. The tiebreaker was reached, a luck in which the Balearic Islands are not fine this year (8/8) and with skill and some luck Medvedev pointed it out. Maybe, deep down, he deserved it.
The third set was unpredictable with the balls bouncing very often over the lines. That's how tight everything was. In the first game, Nadal had to lift a break point. Tennis declined from fatigue and with it came mistakes. Still they both had luxuries to show for. Rafa ran into three other break balls at 3-3 and couldn't handle the last one. The lengthening of the game, this time clearly hurt Nadal. He no longer managed to stop the Moscow giant. His last blow stayed on the net, like the possibility of achieving glory at the Masters. That is closer to Medvedev now.
Schedule and results of the ATP Finals.
inside / totals
inside / totals