Daniil Medvedev battles to victory at ATP World Tour Finals as curtain comes down on event at O2 Arena after 12 years
After winning the final tennis tournament to be held at London’s O2 Arena, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev must hope that he will defy the recent trend for champions of the Nitto ATP Finals to struggle in the ensuing season. This trophy has been a poisoned chalice of late, starting with Andy Murray’s pyrrhic victory over Novak Djokovic here in 2016. Exhausted by his push to finish the season as world No 1, Murray soon succumbed to injury, and the pattern has continued with the next three champions – Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas – all failing to advance their rankings the year after achieving career highs at the O2. In a different world, it might be tempting to salute Medvedev’s 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 win over Dominic Thiem as a coming-of-age moment. As conclusive proof that he is ready to start winning majors. But we have all been here too many times before to make any confident predictions. So many likely lads have shone at this event, only to be squashed by the resilience and nous of the Big Three – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – when the next year’s majors come around. What we can say is that Sunday’s two competitors – Medvedev and Dominic Thiem – had both proved their credentials by beating a member of tennis’s holy trinity in Saturday’s semi-finals. And that hasn’t happened before here: a double setback for the big boys at such a late stage of the year.