Andrey Rublev produced a superb performance to beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets on day five of the ATP Finals.
The tournament debutant converted his third match point to cruise through the dead rubber and seal a 6-2 7-5 triumph in one hour and 14 minutes.
Victory concludes a super year for the world number eight, who bows out of the tournament in style.
Thiem was flat throughout and clearly not fired up given he had already qualified as group winner. His 300th career win will have to wait and he’ll hope it comes in Saturday’s semi finals.
Victory was Rublev's first at the ATP Finals in his final match of the group, following on from defeats to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal.
Thiem will face the runner-up in the Tokyo 1970 group, a quartet that consists of Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman.
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DAY FOUR RECAP
Daniil Medvedev qualified for the last four of the ATP Finals after a surprisingly comfortable straight-sets win over Novak Djokovic.
After sharing the opening six games of the match, Medvedev soared clear, helped by a number of Djokovic errors, to breeze through 6-3 6-3 in one hour and 22 minutes.
The result ensures the Russian will qualify from Group Tokyo 1970 while Djokovic’s fate will depend on his final group match against Alexander Zverev. Diego Schwartzman is eliminated from the tournament.
"I'm sure he didn't play his best but it happens to everybody," said Medvedev. "I always say the 'Big Three' are champions because it happens to them less than everyone else. I'm feeling confident. I knew I had to take my chances and it was a great match for me."
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Alexander Zverev kept his hopes of reaching the ATP Finals last four alive with a tricky three-set victory over Diego Schwartzman in London.
After losing his Group Tokyo 1970 opener to Daniil Medvedev at The O2 Arena, Zverev bounced back to record a 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over Schwartzman, whose hopes of reaching the semi-finals are over.
Who is playing?
The eight singles players competing at this year’s ATP Finals will be Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman.
This year qualification is based on the ATP rankings (excluding points gained at last year’s ATP Finals) rather than a ‘Race to London’ ranking due to the disrupted season.
What’s the schedule?
The tournament at London's O2 Arena runs from November 15 to November 22.
There will be two singles matches played every day before the semi-finals on Saturday, November 21 and the final on Sunday, November 22.
What are the groups?
Group Tokyo 1970
- Novak Djokovic
- Daniil Medvedev
- Alexander Zverev
- Diego Schwartzman
Group London 2020
- Rafael Nadal
- Dominic Thiem
- Stefanos Tsitsipas
- Andrey Rublev
What’s the format?
The eight singles players are divided into two four-player groups, with each player facing their three group rivals and the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals. Standings are determined by number of wins and if players are tied then it is decided on by their head-to-head record.
Rublev, who has won five titles in 2020, and Schwartzman, will be competing at the finals for the first time. There will be four players aged 24 and under for the second straight year.