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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday November 16, 2022

 
Stefanos Tsitsipas

A fifth match point finally did the trick for the Greek in Turin.

Photo Source: Getty

With his back against the wall in the second set, Daniil Medvedev’s showed his steel, saving three match points to win the second-set tiebreaker at the ATP Finals in Turin.

Moments later, it was the Greek's time to wiggle out of trouble, and Stefanos Tsitsipas did so fantastically, breaking Medvedev to get back on serve at 5-5 in the third.

From there Tsitsipas cruised to a meainginful victory, converting his fifth match point to complete a stunning 6-3, 6-7(11), 7-6(1) victory in two hours and 21 minutes.

"It was a roller coaster," Tsitsipas said. "A pure roller coaster."


For all the world, it seemed like Medvedev's match to win after he had weathered a storm from Tsitsipas and found himself up by a break in the third set. Three times in succession the fourth-seeded Russian stared down match point in the second-set tiebreak, and he found his way out of trouble with poise under pressure.

But Medvedev lost the plot while serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, losing four straight points from 15-0 to allow Tsitsipas back in it.

Tennis Express

After more than two hours, the confident Tsitsipas who began the match serving and volleying to perfection returned to finish the deal.

"He raised his level, not missing a lot of first serves early from the second set all the way to the third,” recalled Tsitsipas. “I felt like he was very consistent with with his placement and I did hang in there and the last game. I tried something else. It really worked in my favor. I was able to hit a few returns and make them and that gave me such a great feel of how what I can achieve following the next couple of games.”

TSITSIPAS TACTICAL SHIFT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE

Faced with a barrage of serve-and-volley from the Greek, Medvedev was on his back foot for the first set and a half, but he stayed with his script – serving big and biding his time – and eventually it paid off as he showed his steel in the second set.

The momentum now firmly with him after his escape in the second set, Medvedev put on a serving display early in the final set, then broke for 4-3 before saving a break point at 4-3, 30-40.

But the drama was far from over.

Tsitsipas levelled at 5-all when Medvedev's nerves finally caught up with him.

"Terrible to not serve it out, especially on such fast court," Medvedev later lamented.

The victory marks Tsitsipas' fourth triumph in 11 career contests with Tsitsipas. The Greek has now won their last two meetings, while spending most of those two tilts attacking the net with a vengeance. In those two victories, Tsitsipas has won 57 of 73 points at the net against Medvedev.

It is a tactic that has worked wonders for the Greek, changing the character of the matchup, and he talked about how it makes a difference after the match.

"I'm working day by day to introduce it back into my game, to have pretty much my opponent guessing a bit more, not get comfortable every single time," he said.

Tsitsipas improves to 1-1 in group play, while Medvedev drops to 0-2. The Russian has now lost his last seven matches against the top-10, and he admits he needs to find a way to start winning meaninfgul matches.

"It means I was not good enough," he said. "It means I was not good enough, and I have to be better. Mentally, I don't care. I don't care if I play a top 10 or not. But tennis-wise it's tougher to play a top-10 player. That means I have to play better tennis against these guys. That's what I'm going to try to do next time because there is no other choice."

Novak Djokovic has qualified for the semifinals from the Red Group already, while Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev will compete for the final spot on Friday in Turin.

More to follow...

 

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