‘I showed determination,’ says Stefanos Tsitsipas as he beats Andrey Rublev to set up Rafael Nadal decider
Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will battle it out with Rafael Nadal for a place in the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals after saving a match point to beat Andrey Rublev.
Tsitsipas’ 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) win means Dominic Thiem qualifies for the last four after his brilliant victory against Nadal earlier, with the Greek and the Spaniard heading to a winner-takes-all clash on Thursday.
Tsitsipas was dejected after losing his opening match to Thiem but reacted in just the right manner here, wrapping up the first set after only 19 minutes.
✅ Match point saved!
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 17, 2020
However, Rublev, making his debut in the tournament, produced a spirited response and had a match point in the deciding tie-break only to double fault.
Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview: “It was an unbelievable match from both sides. We produced some incredible tennis. The relief at the very end of putting all that effort and all that fight on the court paid off.
“I’m very happy that I showed determination and a willingness to not give up when he had match point. I produced some really good tennis and that helped me take the win.”
Russian Rublev qualified for the tournament for the first time by virtue of winning more titles and matches than anyone else this season.
The 23-year-old settled into the match at the start of the second set but Tsitsipas appeared untroubled until he came to serve to stay in the set at 4-5 and was broken to love.
The Greek tried to wrestle back the ascendancy early in the decider but was unable to take any of five break points in the third game and Rublev grew in confidence as the contest headed to a deciding tie-break.
A thriller 👏
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) November 17, 2020
Tsitsipas looked in control at 5-2 but lost the next four points, with Rublev putting together a tremendous rally to force a match point.
He let Tsitsipas off the hook with just a second double fault of the match and his hopes of progressing are now over.
EXCLUSIVE – On the fifth anniversary of Britain’s Davis Cup win, captain Leon Smith reflects on a glorious year
On this day five years ago, Great Britain won the Davis Cup.
Novak Djokovic ‘met the goal he set out at the beginning of the season’, says his coach
A good season for Novak Djokovic.
Tennis Top 10
ATP top 10 prize-money earners in 2020: Novak Djokovic at No 1 with two surprise names on the list
Novak Djokovic sitting pretty at No 1.
WTA to adopt ATP-style categories with events changed to WTA Masters, WTA 500, WTA 250?
Changes in line for WTA categories, according to a report.
Dominic Thiem hopes to emulate his coach and experience ‘incredible’ medal winning emotions at Olympics
Dominic Thiem sets sights on Tokyo Olympics.
British tennis given a boost as the LTA agrees a new partnership with Dunlop
LTA ends challenging year on a high with Dunlop deal.
EXCLUSIVE – Davis Cup captain Leon Smith echoes Andy Murray views as he outlines his vision for tennis in 2021
Leon Smith hopes tennis can return to normal in 2021.
Daniil Medvedev: ‘Inside of me there is a winner that maybe sometimes is a bit childish’
Daniil Medvedev determined to drop the antics.
‘We have so much fun together,’ says Dominic Thiem as he joins Roger Federer at 2021 Laver Cup
“I’m really excited to be a part of Team Europe.”
How ‘skinny guy’ Juan Martin del Potro ‘won’ Diego Maradona’s heart and made football icon ‘very happy’
Maradona shared a special relationship with ‘Martin’.