Nitto ATP Finals (Turin) – Day 3 & 4

Green Group – day 4
Casper Ruud d. (alt.)Cameron Norrie    1-6, 6-3, 6-4    [1:51 h]
It’s only the second time in the 52-year-old tournament history, that two alternates appear at ’round robin’ stage with chances to reach the semifinals (previously it happened in 1998 when Rios & Agassi, after their first matches, were replaced by A.Costa & Rusedski). Norrie has replaced Tsitsipas (elbow injury) and very interesting situation all of a sudden: either of  players who seemed to me like potential whipping boys (Norrie had chances to qualify until Paris-Bercy), will have at least one victory… I estimate them at very similar technical-mental level, so Ruud’s 6-0, 6-2 over Norrie in the San Diego final a few weeks ago it was a very surprising scoreline as well as their 1st set in Turin which lasted only 30 minutes. Ruud remained cool with the recent memory of their San Diego match, increased the speed of his serves and his break point chances came – he converted them when led 4:3 in 2nd and at 2-all in 3rd. In the last two sets Ruud didn’t face a break point, he was forced to play ‘deuce’ on serve only in the last game after Norrie had withstood a triple match point.
Points won directly behind the serve: Ruud 24/71 (33%), Norrie 18/83 (21%)… Total points: 78-75
Novak Djokovic d. Andrey Rublev    6-3, 6-2    [1:08 h]
Prior to Turin, Djokovic had faced all the best players born in the 90s except Rublev (not counting a Davis Cup match in doubles two years ago) and Norrie, so I was curious how he’d deal within three days with the fury of baseline strokes of the ginger Russian and an enormous patience of the Scottish Brit. Rublev stormed early, breaking in the opening game, but as the match progressed he was gradually wilting. Djokovic used only one dropshot in the entire match, but his basic strokes were efficient enough to turn Rublev into an error machine, besides that the Serb looked as fresh as a daisy, and he was obtaining points directly behind the serve with astonishing frequency second match running. Djokovic, who has already secured the pole position, admitted: ” Winning the first set I put additional pressure on him, and I started to maybe play more consistently from the back of the court. I served well [and] that helped tremendously.”
Points won directly behind the serve: Djokovic 26/48 (54%), Rublev 12/52 (23%)… Total points: 60-40
Red Group – day 3
(alt.)Jannik Sinner d. Hubert Hurkacz    6-2, 6-2    [1:25 h]
Tuesday… Only four hours before this match it was officially confirmed what I had actually known already on Sunday evening – Sinner replaces the follow Italian, Berrettini. In the 21st Century, before Sinner (20.5) only two younger players had taken part in the season ending event: Lleyton Hewitt (19.9) and Juan M. Del Potro (20.3). Sinner entered the event having lost six straight sets, I knew he would’t lose eight, but it was also tough to expect such a beat-down of Hurkacz. The Pole played pretty good first set, but lost it badly in terms of the score and seemed overwhelmed by the crowd supporting Sinner. Once Hurkacz dropped his serve at 1-all in the 2nd set, the match was basically over because the Pole doesn’t change anything in his game when he is down, he may only count on the opponent’s lapse of concentration. In this case it couldn’t happen because Sinner was constantly stimulated by the crowd and an opportunity to finish the season in the Top 10 opening a door for the semifinal corridor. “I knew around 5 (p.m.) that I would play,” Sinner said. “I was ready to go on court. It is an incredible feeling playing here in Italy with thousands of people cheering for you and I am trying my best. I will enjoy the moment. I played well and felt good in the warm up. It was an incredible match today.”
Points won directly behind the serve: Sinner 21/69 (30%), Hurkacz 13/47 (27%)… Total points: 68-48
Daniil Medvedev d. Alexander Zverev    6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(6)    [2:35 h]
The 11th meeting of “Russian towers” (Zverev represents Germany, but his parents are Russians) and finally very tight encounter adequate to the serving power they possess. I expected a match like this, but the first three games made me wrong. It seemed like a continuation of their Paris semifinal on much slower surface, many rallies, break points in each game, and Medvedev established a 3:0 lead – no break of serve for another two hours of the match. In the first tie-break a linesman helped Zverev considerably calling Medvedev’s foot fault on his second serve at 1-all. In the 2nd tie-break Zverev led 4:2, but Medvedev was well focused and aggressive. He wasted a double match point, but at 6-all played a well-constructed point from the baseline and forced Zverev’s error on the third match point. It’s fifth consecutive Medvedev’s win over Zverev (all within the past twelve months). “Definitely one of the matches to remember,” Medvedev said. “When you win 8/6 in the tie-break in the third, it was 4:2 for him so I was like okay, he serves a few aces it’s done. I made it 6:4 and I was like okay, that’s my moment now. It’s back to 6:6, you get really tight, because I wanted to make a brave move on the 6:5 second serve and volley, didn’t work out at all.”
Points won directly behind the serve: Medvedev 37/107 (34%), Zverev 36/109 (33%)… Total points: 112-104
This entry was posted in Tournaments. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply