The eight best tennis players of the season gathered at the final event of 2022. The Red Group meetings opened on Monday, November 14.
Daniil Medvedev vs Andrey Rublev
In the first meeting on Monday, we had the all-Russian match-up, where the audience saw a 2-and-a-half-hour thriller. Two well-known opponents spared no effort and a ruthless fight took place.
For many years, Medvedev was an impregnable fortress for Rublev. Daniil has a 5:0 win-loss record against him. In addition, Andrey has never won a single set against him. Rublev overcame his compatriot’s complex for the first time in the semifinal of last year’s Cincinnati Masters.
The match had great intensity from the beginning. We saw the brakes exchanged. Rublev lost serving for the set, then got a double setpoint on the return, but Medvedev saved them thanks to his big serves. In the end, it came down to a tiebreak, where Daniil offered his friend an amazing comeback: he came back from 2:6 down and won 9:7. In total, he saved seven setpoints.
Cincinnati was in Rublev’s head, so he wasn’t going to surrender. He came back in the second set with a wonderful attitude, his backhand shots were working from both forehand and backhand exceptionally well. On the other hand, serving was a problem for Medvedev, who committed six double faults in the second game. Andrey broke him twice and took the set 6:3.
The decisive set turned out to be the longest, most spectacular, and most dramatic. The players were extremely careful with their service games and again, we had a tiebreaker. Rublev took advantage here from the start and went ahead 6:3, Daniil seemed to promise a second comeback, and saved four matchpoints, but made a mistake in the most crucial episode, so Rublev closed the match with the fifth chance.
Considered as underdog, Andrey Rublev beat Medvedev for the second time in his career and made a sensational bid to reach the semi-finals of the ATP Tour Finals for the first time.
Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
On Monday night, the eyes of the entire tennis world were on one man. The man who has the goal of rewriting another chapter in the history of this sport. The 35-year-old Serbian aims to win his sixth singles title and match Roger Federer’s feat.
As for the Greek, it was not an easy season for him. He had shoulder surgery at the end of last year and didn’t have high expectations at the start of the season, but he still managed to be among the best in November. Moreover, he is the only one who has won both: Nextgen Finals and ATP Tour Finals.
Novak showed his claws from the beginning and started with a break in the first game. The Serb did not face any problems and calmly led the first set to the end.
Stefanos acted with more concentration in the second part of the match. Here was the only breakpoint Nole had, but the Greek saved it convincingly. We received an expected tiebreak, where Tsitsipas broke down psychologically and gave two serves in a row at the start. Djokovic did not refuse the gift and ended the match with his prevail.
Nole managed to defeat Stefanos for the eighth time in a row. Two weeks ago, the story received in the semifinals of the Paris Masters did not repeat itself for Tsitsipas. This time, Greek could not recharge enough in the second set.
The final even of the year will continue on Tuesday, November 15, with the second-round matches of the green group.