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ATP Finals: Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Daniil Medvedev in London opener – bbc sport, bbc news


                                         

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                ********                 ” Brilliantly executed ” – Tsitsipas edges Medvedev in London**

2019 Nitto ATP Finals
Venue:O2 Arena, LondonDates:10 – (November)
Coverage:Watch live coverage of one match per day on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Clickherefor Live Guide.

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas won his opening match at the ATP Finals by edging out fourth seed and fellow debutant Daniil Medvedev

The Greek 21 – year-old beat the Russian 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 at the O2 Arena.

There was just one break of serve in the match with Tsitsipas, the youngest player in the tournament, earning his first win over Medvedev – a player with whom he has a **** rivalry.

“It is one of the toughest and most important victories,” Tsitsipas said.

“It’s not easy coming in knowing you’ve lost five times before [to Medvedev] but this victory means a lot to me, this crowd means a lot to me.

“” [There are] Greek flags everywhere – it almost feels like I’m playing i n Athens. “

World number one Rafael Nadal plays defending champion Alexander Zverev later on Monday in the same group.

Novak Djokovic, who can overtake Nadal at the top of the world rankings this week, leads the other group after winning on Sunday.

The top two players in each group after the round-robin stage progress to the semi-finals on Saturday.

The men’s season-ending event, which is taking place in London for the penultimate year, features the top eight players of the year.

‘We won’t go for dinner together’ – Tsitsipas on Medvedev rivalry

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Tsitsipas has won two titles this year in Estoril and Marseille

Tsitsipas had lost all five of his previous meetings with US Open runner-up Medvedev and the pair have had a difficult relationship since a row over a net cord in Miami last year.

Tsitsipas then called the Russian’s playing style “boring” after a defeat at the Shanghai Masters last month.

The pair are two of the most highly-rated young players in the game – two of four singles players aged 24 or under at this year championships – but Tsitsipas was rewarded for being the more aggressive of the two players.

Asked whether beating Medvedev meant extra to him, the Greek said: “It means more than extra.

” It’s a victory that I’ve craved for a long time now and it’s great that it came in this moment.

“Our chemistry definitely isn’t the best that you can find on the tour. It just happens with people that it’s not that you can just like everyone.

“It’s not that I hate him. I guess, as he said, we will not go to dinner together. “

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Medvedev has won more matches this year (59) than any other player

There were no breaks in the first set but Tsitsipas played better in the tie-break, earning the crucial mini-break to move 6-5 ahead by winning a gruelling point at the net with a volley .

The second set was similarly tight but Tsitsipas remained immaculate on serve – he did not face a break point in the match – and eventually broke serve to go 5- 4 in front, helped by the Russian choosing not to volley a return at 30 – 30 that landed in.

Tsitsipas served out the match in the following game, and celebrated enthusiastically after the final point as he moved top of the early group table.

Tsitsipas, who beat Federer en route to the semi-finals of this year Australian Open, won the Next Gen event a year ago – the season-ending tournament for players aged 21 or under.

He said he had “goosebumps” when making his debut in London.

“I watched this event for the first time in 2010, I used to watch on TV dreaming of potentially playing on these courts, “he said.

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