The sixth time was a charm for Stefanos Tsitsipas, who finally found a way to topple Daniil Medvedev on Monday in London. Both competing in their first career ATP Finals, Tsitsipas prevailed over Medvedev, 7-6 (5), 6-4, in their round-robin opener.
“It’s not easy coming in knowing you’ve lost five times before,” said Tsitsipas. “But, you know, I made a deal with myself I’ll keep trying until I get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10, 20. This victory means a lot to me.”
Tsitsipas went toe-to-toe with the Russian, with both players staying on serve in the first set before it necessitated a tie-breaker. The 21-year-old Greek, who had won all his first-serve points up to that point, made a big push in the decider to take the first set in 57 minutes.
Tsitsipas continued to stay composed with the lead, not allowing Medvedev to put a dent on his service games. He was rewarded in the ninth game of the second set as he broke to go up 5-4, and consolidated in the next game to earn his first career win against the US Open finalist.
”I watched this event when it was first held in London. I used to watch it on TV and dream of potentially playing it. It’s such an important event and pure joy to play here," Tsitsipas said. "It’s been a long way to come here, so I’m really grateful for the people who really believed in me. It means a lot.”
Tsitsipas is looking for his third title of the season, having won Estoril and Marseille. Meanwhile, Medvedev—whose breakthrough season includes tour-leading 59 wins, four titles and nine finals—is the first Russian to qualify for the season-ending event since Nikolay Davydenko won the event a decade ago.`