Damien Kayat previews the Nitto ATP Finals match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danil Medvedev on Wednesday, 16 November 2022.
2022 ATP Tour
Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy (Indoor Hardcourt)
Selected Group Match – 16th November
Stefanos Tsitsipas (2) vs Danil Medvedev (4)
Stefanos Tsitspas (7/4)
This should be a fascinating do-or-die encounter between two players who have tasted significant success in this event before. World No.3 Stefanos Tsistsipas won the title in 2019 and will be looking to add to a monstrous tally of 60 wins for the season. Sure, things haven’t gone swimmingly for the Greek in recent Grand Slam action.
But his sheer consistency has been a thing to behold. He will be looking to make his 8th final of the season in this event (having won titles in Monte-Carlo and Mallorca). But a straight-sets defeat to the mythic Novak Djokovic was not the ideal start to his ATP Finals campaign. In fact, it marked the 9th consecutive time he has lost to the Serbian.
I think it’s fair to say that Djokovic has the Greek’s number. He exposed Tsitsipas’ backhand side with deep, penetrating groundstrokes. The Greek only had one breakpoint in the entire match (in the 4th game of the 2nd set). But he failed to capitalize on that and slumped to a pretty solid defeat.
That win was crucial in that it ended his slim chances of actually ending the year as the number one player in the world. Next up for Tsitsipas is a familiar foe in Danil Medvedev. Medvedev will also be looking to bounce back after a gruelling three-set defeat to compatriot Andrey Rublev.
Danil Medvedev (44/100)
Medvedev seems to be developing his own issues with Andrey Rublev. Medvedev won their first four matches but seems to have surrendered some ground to Rublev. Medvedev did show character in the match, coming back from 1-4 down in the first set. He then saved two match-points at 5-6 to force the tiebreak.
He then fell 6-2 behind in the tiebreak, only to save five set-points and go on to win the first set. But Rublev ultimately ground Medvedev down. This has been a weird year for the Russian. He has twice been the number one ranked player in the world. But he hasn’t really mentally recovered from that Aussie Open final defeat to Nadal.
He won titles in Los Cabos and Vienna. But he has consistently underperformed on the bigger stages. He seemed to have his confidence rocked by Melbourne. But lest we forget: Medvedev is a Grand Slam champion.
The former US Open champion also has an undeniable pedigree in this event. He won the title in 2020 and lost to Alex Zverev in last year’s final. But will that epic loss to Rublev be a hammer blow to his chances this week?
Verdict: Tsitsipas to win in three at 48/10-
On the surface, Medvedev’s head-to-head record against Tsitsipas looks imperious (he currently leads 7-3). But the Russian won their first five matches. The Greek leads 3-2 in their last five matches. He also won their last encounter in Cincinnati earlier this year.
I just think that Medvedev is looking a bit jaded. He is losing in the longer rallies (where he is usually accustomed to thriving). I also think Tsitsipas is playing more consistently at present.