Daniil Medvedev finally won for the first time at the ATP Finals with an impressive 6-3 6-4 defeat of Germany’s Alexander Zverev to join Novak Djokovic at the top of the Tokyo Group on Monday.
Medvedev failed to win a singke match in his debut at the season-ender last year, losing all three matches.
But in what was a rematch of last week’s Paris Masters final, it was Russian fourth seed Medvedev who triumphed on an indoor court once again against Zverev.
The 24-year-old Russian had to overcome an uncertain start to dominate the 2018 champion who again struggled with his shaky serve.
Medvedev dumped a second serve in the net to lose the opening game but Zverev served three consecutive double-faults in the next game on the way to handing the break back.
Some brutal baseline exchanges took their toll on both players and Zverev worked overtime trying to stay level at 2-3, only two throw away the game with consecutive double-faults.
From then on Medvedev was too solid for the German, taking the first set with an ace and breaking in the seventh game of the second set as Zverev again wavered.
Zverev won only four of 19 second serve points in the match — a statistic that ultimately proved costly as the wily Medvedev closed out the victory.
Medvedev will face world number one Djokovic on Wednesday. Djokovic opened his quest for a sixth ATP Finals title with a crushing straight-sets defeat of Diego Schwartzman.