ATP Finals: Daniil Medvedev fights back to beat Hubert Hurkacz

Medvedev has won 23 of his past 26 matches, with 19 of his triumphs during that run has come in straight sets.

Daniil Medvedev in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)

Daniil Medvedev had a tough start to his Nitto ATP Finals title defence against Hubert Hurkacz on Sunday but the Russian impressively fought back to register a crucial win. He managed a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory against the Polish player, thereby moving to 1-0 in Red Group action. Medvedev, who earned his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto and his maiden major at the US Open, had to overcome a difficult start. However, he stayed calm despite losing the first set. The World No. 2 then fought back impressively, thanks to his serve and steady baseline play to triumph after two hours and one minute.

“I had zero break points to save, so in a way I was never under pressure,” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “I had only two games on Hubert’s serve where I had break points. Super happy to make this work and [that I] managed to get both breaks.” Medvedev’s impressive season keeps continuing. He has won 23 of his past 26 matches, with 19 of his victories during that run has come in straight sets. After going 0-3 on his debut at the season finale two years ago, he has now claimed six successive victories at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Hurkacz starts well against Medvedev

On the other hand, tournament debutant Hurkacz fought competitively well in his first match at the event. The polish player showed a lot of positives during the match, but he never found a way to challenge his opponent’s serve. In the end, it turned out to be costly.

In a tightly-fought contest, Hurkacz survived the first set in a well-executed tie-break to move ahead. However, the Russian came back impressively to claim the next set. On the back of winning the second set and hitting a smash to break early in the third, Medvedev won a stunning point and waved his arms to get the Turin crowd involved. On the 29th shot of the rally, the Russian struck a beautiful backhand passing shot. 

“I remember this point because that’s the only point in the match where I could actually interact with the crowd a little bit,” Medvedev said. “Other than that, it was aces, winners and unforced errors.”

Medvedev, who did not face a break point in the match, had won 83 per cent of his first-serve points. The World No. 2 had struck 15 aces and in his service games, the Russian rarely gave Hurkacz an opportunity to step into the court.

Alcaraz races to Milan title

Carlos Alcaraz ended his breakthrough 2021 season on Saturday at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in a stunning fashion, beating Sebastian Korda 4-3, 4-2, 4-2 to win the title in Milan. It is to be noted that the 18-year-old is the first Spaniard to triumph at the 21-and-under event. Besides, he is the youngest player to earn 32 tour-level victories in a year since Andrei Medvedev, 18, went 32-11 in 1992.

“It is amazing,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “To be able to win this tournament means a lot to me. I am so excited right now and emotional. I was very, very nervous at the start. I had to be calm to save the break points. I know Korda is serving very well, so I had to play my best in those moments.”

Sportslumo Desk

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