Three champions and a rookie on the rise in a luxury semifinals

This Saturday, at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, there will be luxurious semi-finals of the ATP Finals that will feature the presence of three tournament championssomething that had not happened since Andre Agassi, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras reached the crossroads in 1994, in an edition in which the American triumphed. Novak Djokovic, who has lifted the trophy five times, will face 2018 winner Alexander Zverev, in the main match of the day, not before 9:00 p.m. (Movistar Deportes 1). At 2:00 p.m., Daniil Medvedev, defending champion, will face rookie contender Casper Ruudwho captured the spot on Friday against the odds and with a comeback against Andrey Rublev.

The 22-year-old Norwegian and world number eight, who has won five titles this season, overcame a bad start and beat the Russian in the third set tiebreaker (2-6, 7-5 and 7-6 (5 ) at 2h 23). Ruud’s victory, the 11th in a row he has achieved in a decisive set, had double merit, because until now he had lost all four matches played against Rublev, in which he had added only one set, the first of their face to face. From then until yesterday’s duel, 8-0. “This court is very fast and Andrey plays very fast, I knew I had to fight fire with fire. In the decisive moments I think I played intelligently,” said Casper, who will once again face a Moscow rival against whom he has a negative record (0-2), Medvedev. “It will be another battle against a different type of player. He has beaten me twice, but I know a little about what I am going to find and it is going to be a fun challenge”, argument. He also spoke about his ability to score victories in the last set: “That match I lost in five at Roland Garros (in the third round against the Spanish Davidovich) gave me motivation. “It was hard, but at the same time it generated in me a kind of desire for revenge.”

The fact is that Ruud has put Norway on the world tennis map. He is the first tennis player from his country to play in the Finals and has nothing to lose. The situation is very different both for the number two in the world and for the number one, Djokovic, who will face an opponent, Zverev, who knows what it means to beat him and, in fact, did so very recently, in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics. This year they have already collided four times, with three victories for the Serbian and one, the aforementioned, for the German. The total of their confrontations shows a 7-3 favorable to Novak. Among Sascha’s other two triumphs, the one he achieved in London stands out, in the final of the 2018 Masters Cup. His can already be considered a miniclassic.

On Friday, Djokovic resolved the process of his last match of the group stage, which did not affect the final classification but gave the winner 200 ranking points and 152,000 euros., with a comfortable victory against the reserve Norrie by 6-2 and 6-1 in 1h 06. The Serbian arrives undefeated and without losing a set in the qualifying rounds. It is the sixth and third time, respectively, that he has achieved this in the tournament. “I’ve gotten better with each match. I couldn’t be more satisfied with my tennis ahead of what will probably be the two most important matches of the tournament,” he says.

Granollers and Zeballos

In doubles, the Spanish Marcel Granollers and the Argentine Horacio Zeballos meet today (18:30) in the semifinals with one of the best couples, that of the Frenchmen Herbert and Mahut, winners of five Grand Slams.

Results, classifications and calendar.

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