The Russian Daniil Medvedev (world number 4) won at 24 the first Masters of his career, Sunday, November 22 in London, dominating 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 the Austrian Dominic Thiem (number 3), already a finalist last year.
This final will remain as the longest in history since it was played in the best of three sets (2:42), and one of the tightest, Medvedev having scored 115 points in total, against 112 for Thiem. Medvedev had already won the Masters 1000 at Paris-Bercy two weeks ago and beat Novak Djokovic (number 1) in the pool and Rafael Nadal (number 2) in the semi-final.
He has also, in a way, come full circle since, for the last Masters in London before the move to Turin, he became the second Russian to win this tournament after Nikolai Davydenko in 2009 during the first edition in the British capital.
He also paid tribute to his illustrious predecessor on the court, after his victory. ” What a game ! This is one of my best victories ”, did he declare, “And thanks to Nikolai (Davydenko) for being an inspiration to so many Russian children like me”.
Technical and mental resources
If the start of the match was quite tense, with in particular a second game which alone lasted more than ten minutes, Thiem made the best start, showing himself to be more regular. In the 5th game, he managed to go up from 0-40 to succeed in making the break on a double fault from the Russian.
On the set point, it was the strip of the net that deflected the ball out of reach of Medvedev, mounted on the fly, suggesting that fate had chosen his camp. But the world number 4, after having already survived the day before Nadal who had served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, once again demonstrated tactical and mental resources. It was at the net that he went to seek his salvation, winning 28 of the 37 points played on the fly.
Thiem will long regret the break points left along the way in the 5th and 7th games of the second set and easy points lost. From the deciding play of the second set, the soul of the match had changed and if the Austrian defended three more break points to 1-1, after being led 0-40 on his commitment, he conceded three more. on the next one and this time had to drop to one knee.
“Obviously, I am very disappointed but at the same time proud of my performance and of the week”, commented, handsome player, Thiem, who lost in three sets against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas last year in the final. “Daniil deserves it, it was an incredible game and I hope we will have many other big games in the future”, he added.
Medvedev also became the 4th player – after Stefan Edberg, Michael Stich and Novak Djokovic – to win the Masters a year after losing all of his matches in his first appearance at the event.