Nitto ATP Finals: Stefanos Tsitsipas becomes first of three debutants to win at year-end tournament
One of three tournament debutants at the 2019 ATP Finals field, Stefanos Tsitsipas stole a march on Matteo Berrettini and Daniil Medvedev by becoming the latest player, the first one from Greece, to register a match win at the prestigious year-end tournament.
In a tight first-set of a competitive clash with fellow debutant Medvedev, Tsitsipas squandered a mini-break advantage in the tiebreak only to reclaim the same with a gorgeous forehand volley winner down the line. A point later, the 21-year-old Greek had the opening set in the bag.
Medvedev conceded the lone break of the match by either player, in the ninth game of the second set, and Tsitsipas served out the match without much ado to record his first win in six attempts against this year's US Open finalist.
The first Russian player in ten years to appear at the ATP Finals since Nikolay Davydenko in 2009, Medvedev had never lost to Tsitsipas in five previous career meetings, including two meetings this year in Monte Carlo and Shanghai but the script changed in the pair's 2019 ATP Finals round-robin opener in London.
Medvedev was looking for his tour-leading 60th victory of the season but instead had to endure back-to-back defeats in as many tournaments following his opening round ouster at the Paris Masters against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. The two-time Masters 1000 titlist would end a career-best season with a career-high world ranking of No. 3 if he gets 485 points more than Federer does at the 2019 ATP Finals.
Tsitsipas would now look to beat Rafael Nadal and defending champion Sascha Zverev in his next two round-robin matches, if he hopes to become the first ATP Finals debutant since Grigor Dimitrov in 2017, to reach the last-four stage of the year-end tournament without dropping a match.