Daniil Medvedev was ‘destroyed’ by Dominic Thiem nine years ago at a junior event in Umag, a meeting that eventually served to forge his character and for him to take revenge this Sunday in the final of the masters tournament (4-6, 7-6 (2) and 6-4).
With his undaunted stamina and checkered, orthodox game, Medvedev took over from Nikolay Davydenko, the previous Russian to win the ATP Finals in 2009, claiming the biggest title of his career leaving Thiem without a crown for the second year in a row.
The Russian also became the fourth tennis player in history to beat the top three players in the ranking in the same tournament, after Boris Becker in Stockholm 1994, Novak Djokovic in Montreal 2007, and David Nalbandian in Madrid 2007.
To earn this honor, he had to pass one of the great obstacles in tennis today, personified in Thiem, an old acquaintance of hers who has been friends with him since 2011.
According to the Russian this week, the two players met at a U-18 tournament in Umag, Croatia, nine years ago.
“He had just come from playing the junior Roland Garros final and he came to this tournament, which was a surprise to everyone,” Medvedev said. after beating Nadal.
The one from Moscow said that he talked to his friends about him, because he was already well known, and told them that he wished he was lucky and could play against Thiem
So it was. Medvedev won the nephew of Marin Cilic and he agreed to the match against the Austrian, who clearly lost 6-2 and 6-0.
“It destroyed me. I had a very bad attitude on the court, about ten times worse than now. I remember that he came to me after the game and told me that I had a great future ahead of me, but that I had to calm down, because I was crazy.”
And nine years after that battle as just promises, they met in one of the most important finals of the circuit.
Medvedev, like Nadal before, started slowly, with a low rhythm, with the occasional opportunity to get ahead, but at the mercy of a Thiem who was feeling the ball more
With a double fault he gave up his service and ultimately the first set and was placed in a scenario that he loves, that of a victim.
Medvedev needed to save three break balls in the second set to wake up and plug into the end. He did not collapse even when Thiem dominated him in the tie break 0-2. He won seven points in a row and forced the final set.
No one had come back from an adverse set in the tournament until his win over Nadal and in the final he was in a position to do it twice in a row.
He was already the owner of the game and although the possibilities of breaking away escaped him (he wasted five), the moment was at hand. He was in command of the party and it was a matter of time before Thiem gave up.
When the break fell, it did so as a ripe fruit, breaking the scheme of a Thiem who is without a prize once again and who at 27 years only has a Masters 1,000 and a Grand Slam in his record, little loot for his game.
Medvedev, Davydenko’s replacement, is the sixth different winner in the last six years in London and dismisses the British capital with its best result on the circuit to date.
The Opposing robot now for an alternative to the big boys and now you can do it from the teacher altar.
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