Novak Djokovic bests Daniil Medvedev in intense physical battle

A delighted Novak Djokovic Credit: Alamy
A delighted Novak Djokovic Credit: Alamy

Novak Djokovic got the better of Daniil Medvedev to remain unbeaten at the ATP Finals in Turin.

The tough physical battle had both men desperate to find a way to come out on top.

Djokovic can make history in Turin if he can go all the way as he will become the second man to win the season finale six times and tie the record held by Roger Federer.

Despite being guaranteed his place in the last four Djokovic spared no effort in battling past Medvedev and he is set to surge up the rankings after a week where he learned that he will be able to compete at the 2023 Australian Open.

“This match against one of the greatest rivals I have today is very important, regardless of the fact that I had qualified already,” said Djokovic after the win.

“I really wanted to win.

“Daniil and I have had some battles in the past and I knew coming into the match today that it was going to be his last match of the season and he wouldn’t want to finish with a loss. I started off very well. [I] had chances in the second [set], had some break points but he played very well in those decisive points. He was playing really quick. I didn’t fell physically well in the third set, struggled a lot. It is a battle and it is a fight.

“Being able to find the last drop of energy to come back into the match.

“At 4-5 I managed to read his serve and anticipate well and got myself in a good position.

“I started off very well in the tie-break. Tough three matches for him, losing 7-6 in the third in all three matches. It is not easy, but he is an amazing player. I have a lot of respect for him and what a great battle.”

Djokovic sounded a warning with this performance and is the only player to remain unbeaten at the Finals.

The former World No 1 will face Taylor Fritz in the semi-finals on Saturday.

It is expected that Djokovic will ahve his fitness thoroughly tested by the American, in the wake of the three hours on court against Medvedev; a match that pushed both to the limit.

Stefanos Tsitsipas faces Andrey Rublev on Friday evening in the Red Group; the winner of that contest will advance to take on Casper Ruud in the last four.

The 35-year-old GOAT contender has now won 16 of the last 17 matches he has played on the ATP Tour, having triumphed in Tel Aviv and Astana last month.

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