Daniil Medvedev made his debut at the 2019 ATP Finals after a strong run in the second half of the season. The Russian gave his best in London, but lost all three matches. Daniil had a chance to take down World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, opening up a 5-1 lead in the decider and wasting a match point in a 6-7 6-3 7-6 loss. The Spaniard saved a break chance in the seventh game of the match to reach a tie break, and the Russian claimed it 7-3 with a service winner in the 53rd minute. In the second set, Nadal lost six service points and kept the pressure on Medvedev. He got a break in the first game after a loose forehand from the Russian. With one good serve after another, Rafa got another break in the ninth game to close the set in style and build momentum heading into the decider. Instead, Daniil got breaks in games one and three to carve out a 4-0 lead and created two more chances on the return in game five that could have taken him to a bigger lead. Rafa saved them and found the energy to come back. He saved a match point with a perfect dropshot at 1-5 and recovered the second break at 4-5 to extend the clash and his chances.
Woodforde on Rafael Nadal
Doubles legend Mark Woodforde picked the attributes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic while building his perfect player. “It’s hard not to kind of, you know, have a look at some of today’s players in that respect,” the 56-year-old said. Someone like a Djokovic’s backhand, pretty solid. For a one-handed backhand though, I’d go with Edberg. Well, it’s hard to argue against someone like Sampras or say, Roger Federer because that part of their game, given that it starts a high percentage of their points, it’s the pole that really holds the tent up,” Woodforde added. “Federer or Sampras, maybe, you know, even from past generations, someone like a John Newcombe. I’ll go with bit of an Australian. Newk’s serve was a key ingredient. Winding it back even a decade before that would be Pancho Gonzales. I’ll run with those four guys. If I can be greedy, I’ll have all four of them.” Woodforde called Rafael Nadal the best volleyer in the game at present and said that while his technique is not the prettiest, his placement on the court while volleying is perfect. “Even when I’m commentating now and watching, when I see Nadal get to net today, quite often I’ll say it, I consider him the best volleyer in our game today,” Woodforde added. “His technique is not always the prettiest but he’s always volleying into the open court. I hit a ton of low volleys and a ton of half volleys. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this guy hit a half volley, he’s always just in the right place.”