Rafael Nadal explains disappointment after Daniil Medvedev comeback at ATP Finals

Medvedev ousts Nadal to set up ATP Finals showdown with Thiem

The muscular Mallorcan has won 71 matches in a row after winning the opening set.

Djokovic, who was trying to win his first ATP Finals title since 2015, has five such trophies.

Medvedev led Nadal 5-1 in the third set during a round-robin clash previous year only to lose, while he was also beaten in five sets by the Spaniard in the 2019 US Open final.

Nadal, who appeared a tad slow, making defensive choices with shot selection, relying heavily on his slices, applauded the victor. "I always had a great relationship with him, he's a very nice guy".

Djokovic was solid, if not spectacular, for the first ten games while Thiem showed his frustration at a lack of precision.

"At the end of the set I was playing a little bit better than him, and then in the 5-4 I think he played a good game and I didn't". "Then he played a good tie-break". The way Rafael Nadal lost the third set last night was new for the Spaniard. "I had an easy volley to close the game".

Zverev, who won the 2018 ATP Finals in London, has been competing under the shadow of serious abuse claims made by his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova. I had my chances. He played well, but I just didn't see that intensity and drive. Hopefully I can play good like this. I'm looking forward to it a lot, it's going to be the last match of a tough year for everybody.

Rafa Nadal's dream of adding the ATP Finals title to his vast collection of silverware was ended for another year as the Spaniard was beaten 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-3 by Russian Daniil Medvedev in a sizzling semi-final on Saturday.

This will be Medvedev's first ATP tournament final in his career, where he will compete with ATP's singles No.3 Dominic Thiem of Austria.

The Russian bested Alexander Zverev, Djokovic and Diego Schwartzman, all in straights sets, en route to his semi-final clash with Nadal. Actually, I made all of my first serves. What can you do?

He said: "I've known Sascha (Zverev) for a very long time since he was very young".

"I was just as tight and as nervous as before". At 10-9, Djokovic erased No. 4 with a forehand that landed right on a line. "I did hit the ball, I was not pushing it, but he just smashed it and he just played great".

By the start of the third set, Medvedev had struck twice the number of total winners and made just three more unforced errors than Nadal, suggesting that Medvedev's aggressive, fearless play was additionally accurate.

Meanwhile, Nadal, who failed to advance to the last four a year ago, started this tournament with a routine dispatching of ATP Finals debutant Andrey Rublev (winner of the most ATP titles in 2020 with five in total) and beat the 2019 champion, Stefanos Tsitpisas, in a winner-takes-all contest after Nadal had lost to Thiem in two close sets.

It might be a tad premature to call it the change of guard even if it is the year in which one among the next generation of players - namely Thiem - nailed a Grand Slam title.

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