Daniil Medvedev US Open 2021

‘Because it’s fun!’ asserts Daniil Medvedev to explain gutsy match point play

Daniil Medvedev played his usual unorthodox style right until the end of the deciding set tiebreak against Jannik Sinner.

The defending ATP Finals champion started his encounter with the 20-year-old Italian in dominant form to clinch the opening set 6-0.

But Sinner made it a battle, claiming the second 7-5 in a tiebreak and forcing another breaker to decide the match.

Down match point serving at 5-6, Medvedev put a 210 km/h (130 mph) first serve wide to be forced into a second serve.

He then bulleted a 201 km/h (125 mph) second serve right at Sinner which he returned into the net.

The Russian then claimed the match 10-8 in the breaker, surviving his courageous move to complete a clean sweep of group stage wins.

“I need to be honest,” he said in his on-court interview. “I probably wouldn’t do it if the match [were not dead]. But, I feel it’s fun. I still think it’s fun, to do it!

“Especially with [Sinner] it’s kind of [like with Novak Djokovic]. He is a really good returner on the second serve.

“So if you just push it in there is a big chance you lose. If you put in a big second serve and it’s in there’s a big chance you win.

“It’s all about probability also sometimes.”

Despite the amazing entertainment that the match provided over nearly two and a half hours, it was actually a dead rubber even before it began.

Regardless of the result, Medvedev would go through to the semi-finals top of the group and Sinner would be out of the tournament.

Next up, Medvedev will face either Casper Ruud or Andrey Rublev as the last semi-final spot is yet to be decided.

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