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Nadal beats Tsitsipas to reach last four at ATP Finals

Published : Saturday, 21 November, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 126

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in their men's singles round-robin match on day five of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 19, 2020.	photo: AFP

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in their men's singles round-robin match on day five of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 19, 2020. photo: AFP

LONDON, NOV 20: Rafael Nadal kept alive his hopes of a first ATP Finals title on Thursday, beating defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in London to qualify for the last four.
The Spaniard, whose haul of 86 singles titles includes just one on indoor hard courts, is chasing the biggest prize missing from his resume at the eight-man elite event.
The 34-year-old has qualified for the ATP Finals for a record 16 consecutive years but has been forced to withdraw on six occasions.
The second seed won his opening round-robin match against Andrey Rublev but defeat against Dominic Thiem meant he faced a shootout against 2019 champion Tsitsipas to reach the semi-finals.
Both players were rock solid on serve until Nadal earned the first two break points of the set in the seventh game, which he failed to convert.
Tsitsipas was again under pressure in his next service game and this time he cracked, double-faulting on break point.
Nadal pressed home his advantage, serving consecutive aces to take the set 6-4 against his 22-year-old opponent.
The Spaniard, twice a finalist at the tournament, had another chance to break in the first game of the second set but the Greek sixth seed dug himself out of danger with a searing backhand.
Tsitsipas did well to cling on against his illustrious opponent who was serving with metronomic efficiency and dominating the longer rallies.
But out of nowhere the Greek earned two set points on Nadal's serve and levelled when the Spaniard double-faulted on the second of those.
The match took a bizarre twist at the start of the decider, with neither player able to hold serve until Nadal finally held to
lead 3-1.
An over-hit forehand from Tsitsipas handed Nadal another break and he served out to take the match and set up a semi-final against Daniil Medvedev as he bids to round off the coronavirus-interrupted season in style.    -AFP





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