Aurélien CANOT, Media365, published on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 5:43 p.m.
Already qualified for the semi-finals, Novak Djokovic signed a third victory in three games, this Friday against a Daniil Medvedev eliminated before even facing the Serb. For the third time in this Masters, the Russian lost in the decisive game of the last set when he served to win the match.
Usually, when a match opposes a player who has already qualified (Novak Djokovic) to another who already knows that he will have to leave the tournament, whether he wins or not (Daniil Medvedev), you should not s ‘expect sparks given what is at stake, almost nothing except for the possibility for the first, guaranteed to finish at the top of his group, to be the only player still in the running in this Masters at approach the semi-finals with three victories (in three games) to his name. Obviously, when it comes to a huge champion, stake or no stake, this does not prevent the poster from giving rise to a dazzling spectacle and the player already eliminated from giving everything to at least save the honor. Rafael Nadal had proven it the day before by winning against Casper Ruud, Medvedev was also very close to turning his back on Turin with a victory against a still undefeated Djokovic in his suitcases. Unfortunately for the Russian, who paradoxically became one of the first players in the history of the event to leave while at the same time being very close to validating his ticket for the semi-finals, he ended up giving in (6- 3, 6-7, 7-6) in the decisive game of the last set (7 points to 2).
Djokovic ‘really proud’
A scenario already fatal to the former world number 1 in his first two matches at the Pala Alpitour, against Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who also had the last word at the end of the suspense against last year’s finalist and winner in 2020. Facing the Greek, Medvedev had also collapsed in the tie-break not to lose as was again the case on Friday against the five-time winner, yet out of breath. What was most frustrating for the Russian was that he even served for the match at 5-4 in this third and final set, but again failed to seize the opportunity that presented itself in front of him. Close to his first defeat in this Masters, Djokovic, who will face the American Taylor Fritz on Saturday in the semi-finals, had rarely seemed so happy after a victory. “Very frankly, it was very difficult physically. There was a great champion in front of me. Paradoxically, I felt better in the third set, but you had to anticipate your serve, have opportunities, make them happen and stay positive. I’m very happy with this victory, because it’s a victory that matters. I gave everything to be the one who would win this match and I’m proud of it (…) It’s always quite incredible matches against Daniil, he is playing so well, despite losing the first set, he was still there, I’m really proud and happy that I managed to win this match.”