The O2 Arena in London which has been the host to this prestigious tournament for 12 long years could not have bid adieu in a better fashion.
The Russian who was making his first-ever final entry in the tournament remained undefeated throughout. He went past the likes of Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic, and Diego Schwartzman in the round-robin stage.
The 24-year-old then got the better of Rafael Nadal in the semis. And capped the year-ending tournament with a stellar victory over the Austrian.
Medvedev, however, felt the finals win to be most rewarding. Speaking post-win, he said, “It was the toughest victory in my life because Dominic is a really tough player to play. I think today he was at his best… That’s what I felt during the match.”
Thiem started out at the top of his game. However, after the loss in the first set, Medvedev retorted to tactical play of tiring out the Austrian. He brought to the fore his unparalled racquet control and great manoeuvre skills.
“To make Dominic tired in a three-set match, not a five-set, I think is a great achievement. All these small things, Dominic is playing as [of] today [as] one of the best players in the history [of the sport], not yet maybe by the titles and Grand Slams, but as I say, playing [with the form of] today,” Medvedev added.
While that may be some compliment, the Russian himself joined an elite list. He became only the fourth player to defeat the top three ranked players in a single edition.
Only Boris Becker, Djokovic, and David Nalbandian have achieved the feat before.
Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem: Key Moments In The Match
Both the players started off well, but the first key moment really was when Thiem 0-40 down came back to break Medvedev 3-2 and eventually go on to win the set.
The Russian, however, after the first set loss realized that he could not fight fire with fire. He quickly changed to indulging in long rallies solely to tire out Thiem.
The US Open champion missed two break points, but Medvedev’s court-coverage and groundstrokes were a treat to the eyes.
0-2 down in the tie-break, the Russian romped past Thiem to clinch the set and equalize. Only fair such a final was going the distance.
Medvedev, in the third set, was in a space of his own. He broke Thiem to take the tally to 3-2.
Thiem got to a point where it was paramount for him to break back to stay alive in the contest. But the big booming serve of Medvedev proved to be his nemesis. He lost 6-4.
Daniil Medvedev went winless in all the three games of his first-ever appearance in the Nitto ATP Finals in the year 2019. To come back and beat World No. 1, 2, and 3 a year later to win his first-ever major title, is quite the turnaround.