Former champion Daniil Medvedev took down fifth seed Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Nitto ATP Finals to secure his 65th win of the season on Monday evening in Turin.
The evening session of the second day of action at the Nitto ATP Finals concluded with a top clash between third seed Daniil Medvedev and World No. 5 Andrey Rublev at the Pala Alpitour Stadium in Turin.
In his on-court interview, Medvedev outlined: “I felt good, and I managed to put it on the court. [The] first set was really tough. I managed to just get a little bit of the upper hand on the most clutch moments, and this helped me in the second, so I’m really happy.”
The Moscow native, who has lifted five trophies on tour this season, wrapped up a statement 6-4, 6-2 victory over the fifth seed after one hour and 31 minutes on Monday, setting off his campaign at the season-ending event.
The second singles match of the round-robin competition in Red Group saw the good friends and compatriots battle for the win in their opening clash at the year-end championships.
The fast Center Court surface favored the 2020 champion, whose consistency throughout the contest ruled their ninth meeting at tour level.
Breathtaking rallies set the tone of a tight first set that Medvedev pocketed 6-4 in 55 minutes, winning 77 percent of the first serve points.
A break in the seventh game became the inflection point to a close opener, allowing the 27-year-old to take a 4-3 lead.
Then, frustration began to take over Rublev, but he managed to stay in the game, adding constant pressure to make his opponent work hard to hold his advantage.
Eventually, the World No. 3 fended off all seven breakpoints he faced en route to notch the set.
Medvedev hit 12 winners to just six unforced errors compared to the Monte-Carlo Masters champion’s 11 to 16, respectively.
The 20-time ATP winner carried the momentum, breaking to open the second set.
Meanwhile, the player mentored by Fernando Vicente lost confidence, and as a result, his best tennis and all his chances to recover vanished.
The former US Open winner produced a double break in the fifth game, quickly marching to close proceedings 6-2 in 36 minutes.
Medvedev showcased a top-level performance to earn victory. In the process, he finished with 24 winners (10 aces), committing eight unforced errors.
In addition, he won 83 percent behind his first serve delivery, while Rublev earned 62 percent on his.
In the afternoon, second seed Carlos Alcaraz fell to World No. 7 Alexander Zverev in a high-class three-setter.
Zverev and Medvedev will meet on Wednesday, while Alcaraz will face off against Rublev.
Earlier in the afternoon, top seed Novak Djokovic earned the ATP Year-End No. 1 honors for the eighth time, a remarkable feat he captured after his opening triumph over Holger Rune on Sunday.
“Obviously, it’s the crown of the season, finishing the year as No. 1 in the world,” said Djokovic.
“I think it’s a dream of every tennis player. It’s one of the most difficult things to do in our sport. Winning Grand Slams and being No. 1 in the world are probably the pinnacles of the sport.”
The Nitto ATP Finals run from November 12-19 at the Pala Alpitour stadium, where the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams battle for the season-ending crown.