'There's no denying it, he choked': Tennis world reacts as Daniil Medvedev throws away lead to hand Rafael Nadal ATP Finals win
Medvedev's challenge of the world's top player looked set to be on course for what would have been a memorable victory for the 23-year-old before he slumped to a three set defeat 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-7 (4-7) - despite being 5-1 to the good in the final set.
Spaniard Nadal showed characteristic determination even as he survived a match point before mounting his comeback as Medvedev faded, with Nadal eventually winning via tie-break after the final set finished six games apiece.Also on rt.com Medvedev melts down as Nadal storms back to win ATP Finals clash
As the scoreline suggests, Medvedev was in control for much of the match and appeared close to claiming his first win against the world number one before errors began to creep into his game.
Unfortunately for the Moscow native, his downturn coincided with Nadal rediscovering his deft touch. He came off second best in the majority of the baseline rallies - and even got assistance from the Hawkeye technology after officials determined that a Medvedev backhand which was called in was actually marginally wide.
It was one of those days for the Russian star and while the vast majority of his performance was admirable, he and his fans will undoubtedly be disappointed by the manner of his implosion towards the end, a sentiment which has flooded Twitter in the aftermath of the match.
A lot going on in sports these days. But Rafa Nadal, on his way out of the ATP Masters, just came back from 1-5 down in the third set to beat Medvedev in London. Might be greatest comeback of his career. Connors once told me, "Nadal plays like he's broke." Still true.— Mike Lupica (@MikeLupica) November 13, 2019
There's no way to deny it, Medvedev choked but Rafa didn't give up, the hold before he got the 2 breaks back was vital, he even fistpumped after it.. it's really crazy how this guy doesn't give up.— Kyro (@KemalM92) November 13, 2019
Unbelievable. From 5-1 and a double break down in the third set and after saving match point at 5-2, Nadal is level. 5-5 and Medvedev in serious danger of throwing what looked a certain first win over the world No. 1 away.— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) November 13, 2019
Daniil Medvedev did a lot of disintegrating to lose that match and a 1-5, third-set lead but there is no denying the fact that Rafael Nadal is an absolute WARRIOR6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (4)#ATPFinals— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) November 13, 2019
Poor Medvedev. Loses from 5-1 up and now has to support Tsitsipas if he's to have any chance of making the SF— Henry Breadstick (@henrybreadstick) November 13, 2019
This is an epic choke from Medvedev pic.twitter.com/ajbD7BabIF— Realz (@RealzTenisFanz) November 13, 2019
Medvedev now faces an anxious wait to determine if he will advance to the next stage of the ATP Finals as he will next face Alexander Zverev and will need other matches to go in his favour if his goal of tournament victory in London is to be realized.
Nadal, meanwhile, meets Stefanos Tsitsipas ahead of a potential semi-final spot in the tournament which will keep him at the summit of the world rankings - so long as rival Novak Djokovic doesn't win the event.Also on rt.com ‘I don’t think I’m a bad boy!’ Daniil Medvedev on image and ‘dream’ of passing Roger Federer (VIDEO)