Nadal beats Tsitsipas to stay in contention at ATP Finals

Nadal beats Tsitsipas to stay in contention at ATP Finals

It was Alexander Zverev who knocked out the legendary Swiss 12 months ago en route to the crown, and on Saturday it was the turn of Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Federer also spoke about how it feels to have a huge fanbase: "It's fun, it's an absolute privilege to be so well liked around the world when it comes to the tennis support that I get". I think he will have too much firepower for Rafael Nadal.

I felt from the get-go I had good rhythm off the baseline and on the serve and that I felt like he was living dangerously if he was not going to play great tennis.

The Spaniard, who came to London under an injury cloud, had a awful start to his week at the O2 Arena, crushed in straight sets by defending champion Alexander Zverev in his first round-robin match.

He also reached the Australian Open final and the semis at Wimbledon, all in a year in which his confidence hit rock bottom after some shock defeats on the European clay.

"He's playing unbelievable tennis, and it's going to be a very hard match, " Zverev said.

Tsitsipas had already secured a semifinal spot by winning his opening two matches but still pushed Nadal to the wire in a match that lasted almost three hours.

"I want to feel connected with people. So I don't have any problem with that".

On Wednesday he was 5-1 down in the third set against Medvedev but found an escape route.

And Nadal only improved, especially at the net where he was at his imperious best, and remarkably survived the entire match without facing a break point while unforced errors began to creep into his opponent's game.

Nadal clinched his fifth year-end No. 1 ranking this week, putting him level with Federer and Djokovic.

Djokovic's chances of overtaking him ended when he was eliminated with the loss to Federer.

It meant no fairytale end to the season for Federer, who now has 103 singles titles in his long and illustrious career - just six behind all-time record holder Jimmy Connors. Pete Sampras did it six times.

However, it's not the first time that the 38-year-old Federer has faced talk about a talented crop of youngsters, even though none of them have so far been able to break the Big Three's iron grip on the sport.

At 21, Tsitsipas is the youngest of the four semi-finalists but, although this is his first time in the ATP Finals, he is arguably playing better than anybody else in the tournament.

"I think this trophy is the work of the whole year, a great year in all terms", Nadal, who first achieved it in 2008, told reporters.

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