Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(6) at the Nitto ATP Finals on Tuesday to secure his place in the semi-finals – then jokingly wrote “Not tight. Hands are shaking” on the camera.
Medvedev explained the message after the match, admitting that nerves had played a crucial role for both players in the tight round-robin match.
“I think the second set, on these fast courts, where I had a lot of opportunities to maybe get closer to the win on his serve was not easy, because it’s like you feel the moment that you can win the match there,” he said.
“He’s definitely not going to make it easy for you, and there were a few points where I could have been better, and I think the nerves were part of it. But then in the third-set tie-break, of course both of us were shaken. That’s completely normal. Everybody would be: Novak, Rafa, Roger.
“That’s why I found it funny, because I think on the TV you don’t really see it because I was still going for the shots. I was not missing that much. I made a few great shots, and it was enough to win the match. So I guess people could look at it and say, ‘Wow, he’s not tight at all’, but, yeah, hands were shaking.”
Medvedev had reason to smile after the victory. Not only had he extended his winning streak at the Nitto ATP Finals to seven matches and ensured his place in the semi-finals, he had secured his fifth straight win over Zverev and taken the lead in their head-to-head for the first time.
Regardless, the US Open champion is not taking anything for granted.
“I always say against a Top 10 player for years, which is Sascha, I feel like no matter how many matches you win in a row you can basically lose the same amount in a row afterwards,” Medvedev said.
“Every match was different. Some matches I was in control. Some matches I remember he was up, really in control of the match, where I managed to turn it around. Today’s match was a matter of few points, was a really close match.
“I’m just happy that I made it against such a such a strong opponent, especially this year, has so many victories, titles. So I’m happy that I managed to have the edge in three meetings we had this year.”
After Medvedev beat Zverev, news broke that Matteo Berrettini was withdrawing from the Nitto ATP Finals due to injury, to be replaced by Jannik Sinner, who will now be Medvedev’s opponent on Thursday.
Despite already being declared the winner of his group, Medvedev has no intention of taking his foot off the gas in his last round-robin match.
“I think when you lose the match, you lose the momentum, so it’s always better to win… Always if you lose in the head-to-head it’s a loss, so I don’t like to lose. So I’m going to be 100 per cent.”