ANALYSIS: Daniil Medvedev's Run At The ATP Finals - Win Against Nadal Was The Turning point - UBITENNIS
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ANALYSIS: Daniil Medvedev’s Run At The ATP Finals – Win Against Nadal Was The Turning point

Using two types of graphs, UbiTennis takes a closer look at the five matches won by Daniil Medvedev at the 2020 ATP Finals.

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Let’s analyse the five matches won at the ATP Finals by Daniil Medvedev, using the graphical representations provided by Federico Bertelli. We have renamed the graphs as “The ride”, recalling the famous Wagnerian composition. The first series of graphs is made up of decision trees and illustrates the trend of Medvedev’s and his opponents behind their respective serves, from the first round robin match to the final won against Dominic Thiem.

 

These are the details of his debut match against Zverev. The graph is easy to read: on the right (in blue) the times he held his serve are represented, while the time he broke his opponent are on the left (in red). The thicker the segment that connects two scores, the more frequently that ‘path’ of play has been covered.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/39qVQVmRFll9YWeGxM_Dl-qEBE7Z2iwMHIfrEa6v5WwIKELuSfGEYrmgVQkDzPhlhsEthmsawLr4Cx-hi-NC15wcu85Yjt_unBZPfFJWpWoyoW5JS1Xbzxf63e2tZnzu0Z_RDCg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/72lIM46LmWsHKBUr3Rhw7oYq4Lto4obP0mA7E_kQH9bVB58TMEhC1Onixq0M8tZch1ZG4v8Hmf_Ntxss48abHouM1wqaPgRaQSeAcsSbJCZAY1Tea-lYVQzeStc61ayblLIasXM

Medvedev’s solidity holding serve is undeniable, because he performed best in deuce receiver and deuce server situations. It can also be observed how the Russian got broken just once in his first three matches, against Zverev at 30-40, while against Nadal he was particularly in trouble with his own serve, as the Spaniard was the only one who broke him several times, taking advantage of some favourable scoring situations such as 0-40, 15-40 and deuce receiver.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/e0lb0_yVnzwb24LWS-xN7qdhxz4DqiNqCBEolubVLln3Qv_7Na99-mCi4WU_k9UrBT4T4H2OqcnxnlYEcO8TX4LtwMA3nkLW94JK6hnnEEshOXFd9_HNZ6seBhP56_deatR2Rig
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/IPBeJdkVLRtQewleS-MxR7QHtzpehhO8wIslpXwlGLisR7KrzSbMng2lAUoAdjIMj2EWBPWhA838l2AJX27anuWFex_oIUSFdMHfoQWDlpW8DoLUx209sVr8cg7qdfvOdfJojX8

However, against Thiem, although Medvedev found himself tangled in a decider, the trend reverts back to that of the round matches: the only chance that Thiem had to snatch the serve was on the deuce receiver. He had no other chance from 40-40. 

https://www.ubitennis.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Medvedev-finals.jpg

The graphical analysis, corroborated by the thickness of the oblique blue lines, also shows the growing solidity of the Russian from match to match, winning the opening two points in his service games. This is a sign of a growing confidence in his game as the Russian advanced towards the final stages of the tournament, e.g. the semi-final and the final.

As for the situations in which Medvedev was particularly proficient on his opponent’s serve, the deuce receiver stands out, a circumstance that was present in all five matches, followed by the 30-40 – he broke on this situation against Zverev and Schwartzman.

AN OVERVIEW

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/vjDrxErqtjvDOnK9dhmExHj5OiMeiNHupX3ffY3sKFBPPQ39Yb7Gipu39P5_XYAlGoBbgeILp7kDrYKrQBoaVRJHSzD731_9doLJ2GVFq4xafnYhzlBeyORsZ4HY5UB88OHV3ao

The second series of graphs on Medvedev’s Valkyrian ride consists of radar graphs illustrating the classic statistics shown at the end of each match, which are equivalent to the following percentages – starting from the top and going clockwise: percentage of first serves in play, percentage of points won with his first and second serve, break points saved and converted, points won on the return against first and second serve, total points won, total points won on the return and on serve. What you see above is the diagram of Medvedev’s debut match: it is easy to see that he did better than Zverev in all statistics except for the percentage of first serves in play.

From the analysis of the first three matches of the group stage, even though the yellow area is predominant in almost all the statistical percentages, it’s clear that Medvedev was more effective in saving break points than his opponents (more than 80 percent against Zverev and 100 percent against Djokovic and Schwartzman), as well as in converting them. Against Schwartzman, he was actually bettered in the percentage of points won with the second service and in points won on the return against the opponent’s second serve.

https://www.ubitennis.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bbb.jpg

However, in the next two matches the percentage profiles of break balls saved and converted change because Nadal’s and Thiem’s numbers are higher than the Medvedev’s. So, ultimately, it means that Medvedev conceded fewer break points and managed to convert those that his opponents offered him during the match. 

That shows a great solidity.

If the general statistical profile of the Medvedev’s match against Thiem is similar to that of the matches won against Djokovic and Zverev, and in some ways to the one against Schwartzman as well, the statistics outline against Nadal is totally abnormal and should be considered as an outlier. The percentage of points won returning Nadal’s second serve and on his own second serve were the crucial ones. We will analyse this aspect in another article that will deal with Medvedev’s positioning on the return.

In conclusion, from the analysis of the statistical profiles, it appears that the semi-final bout against Nadal was the toughest obstacle that Medvedev had to overcome in his ride to success in a tournament in which he turned out more than anyone to be able (perhaps naturally) to give the match the desired direction, even when the numbers were not completely by his side.

Article by Andrea Canella; translated by Alice Nagni; edited by Tommaso Villa

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Monte-Carlo Masters Sunday Preview: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev Battle for their First Masters Title

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Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday in Monte-Carlo (montecarlotennismasters.com)

The winner of Sunday’s singles championship will also hold the No.1 ranking in the 2021 ATP Race to Turin.

 

Since the start of 2020, no one has won more matches than Andrey Rublev.  The 23-year-old is now 65-14 over the past 16 months, with six titles (seven if you include the ATP Cup, a team event).  He has been racking up 250 and 500-level trophies.  But perhaps his biggest win yet came on Friday, as he earned his first victory over his idol, Rafael Nadal.  Rublev has now reached his first Masters 1000 final, and he’s been simply stellar on recent championship Sundays.  Andrey has won his last seven finals, and has dropped only one set in those matches.  That one set was dropped to his opponent today, in a heartbreaking loss for Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Last September in Hamburg, Tsitsipas unsuccessfully served for the title at 5-3 in the third.  That came just a few weeks after another devastating defeat for the Greek.  At the US Open, he was up two-sets-to-one and two breaks against Borna Coric, but Tsitsipas would fail to convert six match points, succumbing to defeat in a fifth set tiebreak after nearly five hours.  Just two days after the loss in Hamburg, Stefanos found himself down two-sets-to-love in the first round of Roland Garros.  However, the 22-year-old survived on that day, and went on to reach the semifinals, avenging his loss to Rublev along the way.  Stefanos would equal that result at this year’s Australian Open, and has now advanced to his third Masters 1000 final.

Sunday’s play will begin at 12:00pm local time with the doubles championship, followed by the singles final not before 2:30pm.  However, there is a chance of rain throughout the afternoon in Monte-Carlo.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) vs. Andrey Rublev (6)

They have split six previous tour-level meetings, and also split their two clay court encounters.  Four of those six matches occurred since September of last year, and they’ve split those as well.  Their recent history starts with the aforementioned Hamburg final, which Rublev claimed 7-5 in the third.  Less than two weeks later, Tsitsipas avenged that loss in the Roland Garros quarterfinals, defeating Rublev in straight sets.  In the round robin stage of the ATP Finals, Tsitsipas again prevailed, this time in a third set tiebreak.  And just last month in Rotterdam, Rublev was victorious in straights.  With each gaining recent wins on different surfaces, as well as both indoors and outdoors, their rivalry has been extremely even.

Tsitsipas has advanced much more easily this week, comfortably capturing all seven sets he’s played.  And he’s spent about three less hours on court than Rublev, who fought through three-setters against both Nadal and Roberto Bautista Agut.  But that also highlights the tougher road Rublev has faced, which included two top 10 players.  Tsitsipas is yet to face a player ranked inside the top 20.

In looking at their two recent clay court clashes, the player whose second serve percentage dropped below 50% lost the match.  In Hamburg, Tsitsipas was down at 40%, while in Paris, Rublev was down at 38%.  As Jim Courier highlighted on Tennis Channel, no top 50 player has a bigger discrepancy between their first and second serve speeds than Rublev.  It will be crucial for Andrey to hit a high percentage of first serves, and avoid striking passive second serves.

But in one of the biggest matches of their careers to date, the way they handle this moment may be the most important factor.  Stefanos certainly has the experience edge on bigger stages like this.  He’s reached three Major semifinals, two previous Masters finals, and was the 2019 ATP Finals champion.  While Rublev hasn’t attained any of those milestones yet, his dominance in recent 250 and 500-level finals may be a huge confidence boost on Sunday.  By contrast, Tsitsipas has struggled in championship matches.  He’s just 5-8 in his career, and has lost his last three, which includes the Hamburg loss at the hands of Rublev.  And most concerning is Stefanos’ dismal 1-8 record in finals played outdoors.  Based on those shortcomings, as well as Rublev’s wins over tough competition this week, I slightly favor the red-headed Russian to win his first Masters 1000 title.

Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (2) vs. Dan Evans and Neal Skupski – Mektic and Pavic are 28-3 on the year, and are already vying for their fifth title.  This is only Evans and Skupski’s second tournament as a team, and yet their second time making the final, as they did the same in Miami two weeks ago.  And this is also Evans’ 10th match of the week.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Canada Sweeps Serbia to advance to Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers

Leylah Fernandez sealed Canada’s place in the Billie Jean King Qualifiers.

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Leylah Fernandez (@TennisCanada - Twitter)

Leylah Fernandez beat Nina Stojanovic in the third singles match to seal the tie for Canada.

 

Canada has booked a spot in the 2022 Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers after beating Serbia 3-0 after Leylah Fernandez beat Nina Stojanovic in three tight sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that last two hours and 46 minutes with the Canadian hitting 31 winners.

“I’m honestly very proud of myself that I was able to push through the nerves of this match, It wasn’t going to be easy with the way that she played at the beginning of the first set and it proved how great of a player she is, today I tried to fight through everything, the Serbian team, my emotions and I was happy that I was able to pull through in the third set with all the match points I missed and then when the lights went out that was a moment to remember but I’m glad I was able to just get the win for Canada and for us to qualify for the next round.”

Both players did a good job holding serve the first couple games and we didn’t see a breakpoint until 2-2 when the Serb had three looks and managed to convert at the third time of asking to take a 3-2 lead.

At 5-3 with Fernandez serving to stay in the set Stojanovic picked up her level and earned two set points on the Canadian serve and managed to seal the set on the second opportunity to take a one set lead.

The Canadian kept fighting despite the fact she was down and in the first game of the second set she earned a breakpoint but was unable to convert. The Serb continued to play well and earned two breakpoints at 2-1 and broke to take a 3-1 lead.

Once again the Montreal native battled and managed to get the break back the very next game playing some great tennis. She would earn the crucial break to take a 4-3 lead and would break once again to win the second set on her opponent’s service game.

Before the third set would commence Stojanovic would call the trainer and take a medical timeout to have work done on her foot. Despite that she was able to break the Canadian in the first game of the final set as Fernandez had a poor service game.

The Canadian once again using her fighting spirit and determination not to give up earned six breakpoints in a very long service game that lasted 10 minutes but was finally able to get the break back.

The next game the Serb tried to regain her lead and earned two more breakpoints but the Canadian hung in and saved both and would hold serve.

At 3-3 the Serb kept pushing for the breakthrough and earned another breakpoint but the Canadian once again saved it. The very next game it was the Montreal native turn to have a chance to break and at the second time of asking the Canadian would break with a superb passing shot to take a 5-3 lead and serve for the match and the tie.

Another poor service game followed and Fernandez was broken at love and the next game the Canadian had five match points but the Serb saved all five. Then out of nowhere the lights went out and there was a 10-15 minute delay to resolve the issue.

After the short delay the Canadian would earn a sixth match point and this time she would win it to seal the win and the tie for Canada. With the tie sealed the two countries decided to play doubles for the dead rubber and it was Rebecca Marino and Carol Zhao who faced off against Aleksandra Krunic and Ivana Jorovic and it was the Canadians who would come back from a set down to win 6-7, 6-3, 10-0 to make it 4-0 Canada after two days of action.

After the final doubles match Hedi El Tabakh spoke to the Canadian media and gave her final thoughts of the tie this weekend.

“It was a battle from start to finish, I know the score-line is 4-0 but it was much closer than that, were up 2-0, two tough matches yesterday and we were able to pull it off, and obviously Leylah match today was the decider, in my opinion, it could have swung either way so it was a battle till the end, Nina played incredible tennis and congrats to her for all her work on the court, she improved a ton and she’s broken the top 100 so Leylah had to earn it today so I’m really happy with the way things turned out for us and couldn’t ask for a better result”.

She told Ubitennis afterwards if she thinks it was her best tie so far as captain of team Canada.

“This was the toughest, I mean for us to come back and win these last two ties was huge and the way the girls performed on the court was very satisfying and this was a very important tie for us so I am pleased with the way we handled things this week, everything was smooth from start to finish, the girls had a great week of practicing leading up to the matches and they were match ready and they delivered which was big and we needed that and I congratulate them for that”

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Ons Jabeur Seeks Revenge On Kovinic In Charleston Semis

Ons Jabeur will be seeking revenge in the semi-finals of the MUSC Health Women’s Open.

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Ons Jabeur (@VolvoCarOpen - Twitter)

Ons Jabeur is looking for revenge on Danka Kovinic as they meet in Charleston for the second week in a row.

 

The Tunisian will look to gain some revenge after losing to Kovinic in the Volvo Car Open semi-finals 6-3 6-2 as the Montenegrin levelled their head-to-head record.

Now on the same court in the same round, Jabeur and Kovinic meet again after the top seed dismantled Nao Hibino 6-0 6-1 in 45 minutes while Kovinic defeated the third seed Shelby Rogers 7-5 6-1.

Speaking to reporters on Friday Jabeur hopes that her more dominating play this week will work in her favour, “That was the main goal today for me, to be more aggressive and very dominant on the court,” Jabeur said.

“I tried to use my forehand as much as I can. That was the plan for me today. Obviously, it worked pretty good.

“I’m definitely going for my revenge. I’m going to really play like I never played before. I really want this win. I will be brave and not let the stress play the match for me.”

Jabeur has won 17 of her 24 matches in 2021 and is in confident mood as she approaches the European clay-court swing.

Only Garbine Muguruza can boast more wins this season which is a testament to Jabeur’s hard work and improved consistency.

As for Kovinic consistency is something that she is very proud of this week regardless of whether she reaches the final or not, “Definitely feels good, because this is first time in my career I had a really good week and then the following week I’m still playing good and competing,” Kovinic told the WTA website.

“I still have this fire to beat everyone on the court. It is good for me after the big tournament last week that I’m already on the court keeping my mind busy. It’s not all you, know everywhere. It’s still on the tennis court.”

So far this season Kovinic has won more matches than in the last two seasons combined as she looks to seal her place in the world’s top 60 next week.

The other semi-final in Charleston is Bogota champion Maria Camila Osorio Serrano taking on Astra Sharma. The semi-finals start at 19:00 BST time.

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