Being first in this life is not a guarantee of anything. Dominic Thiem y Daniil Medvedev they can give fer of it. First of their respective groups in the highest level tournament of the year when the eight best rackets of the circuit meet, their prize will be to face two colossi as they are today Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal; the Serbian against Thiem and the Spanish against Medvedev.

The last place at stake was secured by Djokovic yesterday by pragmatically defeating Alexander Zverev, the other player who aspired to get into the semifinals (6-3 and 7-6 (4)). The tranquility of having the number one assured until 2021 allowed him to play with ease during the hour and a half on the track of the O2 Arena. He took advantage of the German’s initial doubts and knew how to be patient in the second set, when his rival pushed the most, to solve in the tie-break. If he wants to fight to become a teacher for the sixth time and match Federer he will have to surpass the Austrian.



Nadal is showing solidity in service (GLYN KIRK / AFP)

Only in a hypothetical final will there be the most anticipated duel, a Djokovic and Nadal who are in the news in recent days for not agreeing on almost anything. The Serbian is committed to an independent tennis association (PTPA) that favors the most modest in the ranking. Nadal does not consider it necessary considering the economic improvements of the ATP. Djokovic likes the technological innovations introduced at the ATP Finals. Nadal, on the other hand, prefers to recover the linesmen, as he also advocates the Grand Slams to five sets. The one from Belgrade would see with good eyes reducing them to three, as was done in his day with the Masters 1000.


The win-loss balance favors Nadal (3-0)

From what there is consensus is that they will be a very close semifinals. Only on three occasions had both met in the penultimate round of this tournament (2010, 2013 and 2015). If he reaches the final, Nadal will have less recovery time when playing the night shift, but first he will have to confirm his good feelings against Medvedev, whom he has beaten in the three previous games, one of them on this track.

“I don’t think the background will do. At this level and against these players it always depends on the moment and he comes from winning Paris. They are semi-finals of a Masters, one cannot expect more than a rival of maximum difficulty ”, warned Nadal.



Medvedev is ending the year at a great level

Medvedev is ending the year at a high level (Clive Brunskill / Getty)

The Medvedev – Nadal will be played this Saturday at 9:00 p.m. (peninsular time) and will be broadcast on the #Vamos de Movistar channel. The La Vanguardia website will also offer live minute by minute of what happens in the second semifinal of the Nitto ATP Finals. The same channel will offer the match between Thiem and Djokovic at 3 pm.



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