Daniil Medvedev’s 2022 season came to a disappointing conclusion on Friday with a stinging defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals, but he vowed to bounce back next year.
For the second consecutive match the Russian squandered a late third-set lead, falling 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) to the Serb to finish winless in his three group-stage matches at the prestigious year-end championships in Turin.
“It’s disaster,” Medvedev said when asked why he was unable to serve out the match, which was a dead rubber with the undefeated Djokovic already through to the semi-finals and Medvedev eliminated.
“What I’m really happy is that this match didn’t count in going out of the group, otherwise I would have two matches where I lost serving for the match. But, yeah, that’s awful. I’m going to try to be better next time. I have no other choice.”
Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev sealed a place in the final four of the ATP Finals on Friday, rallying from a set down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Rublev’s win saw him overtake Tsitsipas in the Red Group to take second place behind Djokovic.
With the group stage now over, Djokovic faces the American Taylor Fritz with Norway’s Green Group winner Casper Ruud awaiting Rublev in Saturday’s semi-finals.
In a winner-takes-all encounter with the last place in the semi-finals at stake, Tsitsipas looked set to win a third head-to-head with Rublev this season with a powerful first set.
But Rublev showed no nerves in the big moments thereafter and overpowered the Greek with the quality of his ground strokes, earning his first ATP finals semi-final encounter.
“I didn’t give up. I kept fighting and playing,” Rublev said. “I just gave my best and I managed to turn the match around and I am happy to be in the semis.”
Djokovic marked himself out as the favourite when he remained unbeaten, producing a battling win over Medvedev.
Djokovic rallied back from a break down to earn his 40th tour-level win of the season after three hours and five minutes.
“He was playing really quick. I didn’t feel physically well in the third set, struggled a lot. It is a battle and it is a fight,” he said.
“But I think the biggest battle, as I’ve said before, is always the inner battle. If you manage to find yourself in that optimal state of mind and body as often as you possibly can, I feel you can extract the best and reap the best results for yourself in every moment, every point, every match.”
Updated: November 19, 2022, 8:18 AM