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Result: Rafael Nadal stages unlikely comeback to beat Daniil Medvedev

:Headline: Result: Rafael Nadal stages unlikely comeback to beat Daniil Medvedev:
The Spaniard secured victory in two hours 44 minutes.
PA | 3mo

Rafael Nadal won a “one in 1,000” match after coming from 5-1 and match point down to sink Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals and boost his bid to finish the year as world number one.

In a rematch of their marathon US Open final of September, which Nadal won in five, the Spaniard looked on the brink of elimination as Medvedev broke his serve twice at the start of the third set.

But at 5-1 down Nadal wriggled out of match point against with a cute drop shot, and hot-headed Russian Medvedev promptly unravelled.

The 23-year-old began sarcastically applauding his coaching team as Nadal hauled back game after game, edging the match ominously towards a tie-break.

Nadal duly got on the board at London’s 02 by wrapping up a dramatic 6-7 (3) 6-3 7-6 (4 ) victory in two hours 44 minutes.

“Today is one of these days that one time out of 1,000 you lose this match, and it happened today,” said Nadal.

“I’m very happy for that, and very sorry for him, honestly, because to lose a match like this is tough, and it’s painful.

“I feel very sorry for Daniil. He’s a good guy, I think, and anyway, he should be very proud about all the things that he’s doing.

“At 5-1, in that moment, what you think is probably in five minutes you are in the locker room, because that’s the more normal thing.

“I played a great point, and then I was able to save that game. Even with 5-2 is so difficult to think about comeback against a player like Daniil.

“But at 5-3, of course I started to believe, because being only one break away, why not? I need to be there. I need to create the moment and I need to put the pressure.

“I created that pressure on him. And then of course he made couple of mistakes, no? But I think I played a good tie-break, too.”

Novak Djokovic must win the title to have a chance at finishing the year as world number one (Tess Derry/PA)

The win means Novak Djokovic has to win the title in order to have any chance of overhauling Nadal at the top of the rankings, making the Serbian’s winner-takes-all clash with Roger Federer all the more mouth-watering.

Nadal, who was well below his best as he slumped in straight sets to Alexander Zverev in his first round-robin match, now faces young Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday as he bids to reach the semi-finals.

Crucially, the 33-year-old still seems to be showing no ill-effects following the abdominal problem which forced him to pull out of the Paris Masters earlier this month.

Tsitsipas has already secured his place in the last four after beating defending champion Zverev.

Stefanos Tsitsipas impressed again on Wednesday (Steven Paston/PA)

The 21-year-old, who overcame Medvedev in their opening round-robin match, dispatched German Zverev 6-3 6-2.

Tsitsipas admitted he is very taken by those who have gone before him at the O2, although not necessarily the tennis glitterati.

“Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, all these celebrities have been here so I’m really glad to have been here. It makes it a very special place,” he said.

Nadal added: “Tsitsipas is a great player with a lot of energy and he’s having an amazing season.

“It will be a tough one but I know I need to win that one.”

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3Leicester CityLeicester27155754272750
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool27261064174779
2Manchester CityMan City27183668293957
3Leicester CityLeicester27155754272750
4Chelsea2713594537844
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd27118841291241
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs2711794436840
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd27101072925440
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2791263832639
9Arsenal2781363936337
10Burnley27114123339-637
11Everton27106113641-536
12Southampton27104133448-1434
13Crystal Palace2789102432-833
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2787122441-1731
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton27610113239-728
16Bournemouth2775152643-1726
17Aston Villa2774163452-1825
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2766153248-1624
19Watford2759132443-1924
20Norwich CityNorwich2746172451-2718
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