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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday November 18, 2020

 
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev powered past Novak Djokovic, winning 10 of the final 13 games to earn his spot in the last four at the ATP Finals.

Photo Source: Getty

Novak Djokovic has been victimizing opponents for well over a decade now, with his brilliant defense, counterpunching and overall genius on the tennis court. Today he himself was victimized.

Tennis Express

Daniil Medvedev put forth a flawless performance to cruise past Djokovic in surprisingly rapid fashion, 6-3, 6-3, to become the first player from the Tokyo 1970 group to qualify for the semifinals.

Medvedev, who has now won three of his last four meetings with Djokovic, broke open a tight match with a run of seven consecutive games to pull away from the Serb, and finished the match as strong as he started it, with a final authoritative hold, his ninth in nine service games.

It was a convincing victory for the Russian, who now owns a 4-2 record against the Top 10 in 2020, and a worrying defeat for Djokovic.

"It's very tough to beat the Big 3 on any day, but you have to stay solid and that's what I did," Medvedev said.

After the match the World No.1 admitted that he didn’t feel right on court and he said that he regretted losing the plot for “15 minutes” which led to Medvedev running the score to 6-3, 3-0.

“I just had pretty bad seven games in a row that I lost from 3-2 up,” Djokovic said. “In no time it was 6-3, 3-Love for him.”

The Serb admitted that he needed to be better at such a critical moment of the match.

“I cannot allow these things to happen when you're playing one of the top players of the world,” he said. “He was just better, no question about it. I thought we started well, both of us. Up to 3-All it was quite an even match. But then after, you know, just a very long game at 3-All, couple of game points haven't capitalized on them, and after that break he was cruising.”


Whether it was Medvedev’s pure tennis or Djokovic’s sluggishness that caused the result, it’s hard to deny the fact that the Russian matches up well against the Serb. More than 50 percent of Medvedev’s first serves came back unreturned, and the Russian was a plus-8 in the winners to unforced error category. He saved the only break point he faced and even won more than sixty percent of his second serve points.

In the seventh game of the second set Medvedev took charge of things for good. He missed on two break points from 15-40, falling to 0 for 4 on break points converted in the match, but never skipped a beat. Eventually, after 11 minutes of heated tennis, the Russian earned another break point and converted it with dazzling defense, as he threw up a lob on the run and then dealt with Djokovic’s ensuing overhead to take the point.

He then cracked the door all the way open in the next two games, racing to hold and then breaking Dkokovic a second time to claim the set.

"I made good job to come back to deuce to put pressure on him. And finally actually a breakpoint was a great point where we had a long rally and I managed to finish it in a good way," Medvedev said. "Putting pressure all the time on your opponent and even against big champions like Novak it can work."

The Russian rode the momentum out to 3-0 and relied on his booming and versatile serve the rest of the way.

“It was just difficult to break his serve,” he said. “He's serving tremendously well, moving great. Hasn't given me too many unforced errors and free points—just not a great match from my side. I thought I could have and should have done better, but credit to him for playing on a high level.”

 

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