2020 Nitto ATP Finals – Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem Preview & Prediction

Select the sports you want to hear about and TSZ will send the best previews, analysis and predictions straight to your inbox. Sign up today!

THE FACTS

When is Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem on and what time does it start? Sunday 22nd November, 2020 – 18:00 (UK)

Where is Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem taking place? The O2 Arena, London

What channel is Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem on? BBC Two

Where can I stream Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem? Amazon Prime subscribers can stream the match via Amazon Prime Video

Where can I get tickets for Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem? The Nitto ATP Finals will be played without spectators

THE LOWDOWN

DANIIL MEDVEDEV

  • Daniil Medvedev beat Rafael Nadal for the first time in his career in incredible fashion as he came back from a set down to simply baffle the world number two into submission.
  • World number four Medvedev, like his final opponent Dominic Thiem, has now beaten the world numbers one and two to reach the final in London in a complete reversal of his 0-3 debut last year.
  • The Russian has truly peaked at the perfect time for this tournament but must now face the prospect of being equal-to if not the favourite after playing underdog to Nadal and Djokovic all week.

DOMINIC THIEM

  • World number three Dominic Thiem was exceptional in his three-set defeat of Novak Djokovic and his opponent really had to steal away the second-set tiebreak to force a decider at all.
  • 27-year-old Thiem has enjoyed the best year of his career on tour in what has been a heavily disrupted season but making the Australian Open final, winning his first Grand Slam at the US Open and now this week’s performances suggest he could be the stand-out player next season.
  • Thiem has faced Daniil Medvedev four times before and leads a healthy 3-1 head-to-head record over his opponent here, although the Russian is as streaky as they come and did beat Thiem at the height of his powers last season in Cincinnati.

THE PREDICTION

This could well be one of the more famous ATP Finals as the world numbers three and four take to court to make a statement for the future in London’s final match as host. Both Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have beaten Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal this week and no one can deny them this fixture nor the title for one of them. It is a terrible shame that one player will not be remembered for their efforts this week but that makes for what should be an awe-inspiring contest between rather differently brilliant players.

It has been a joy to watch the progress of Thiem, especially, over the last year and a half as he has worked tirelessly to become a tireless force on a hard court when he had been pigeon-holed as a clay specialist for so many years. The Austrian became a Grand Slam champion for the first time this year and should consider the year-end number one in 2021 an achievable goal if he stays in this headspace. At the start of the week he beat Nadal in two incredible sets to become the favourite underdog to win the title but Daniil Medvedev is a wholly different kind of player, and individual, and this match could not be closer to call. The Russian has shown that he can click into, and indeed as quickly out of, an almost unstoppable gear. Some of the angles he has created this week on court are frankly inconceivable and his unflappable demeanour only serves to distress and confuse his opponents. The way Rafael Nadal lost the third set last night was new for the Spaniard. We have likely never seen him bewildered in defeat like that before.

There are so many things to watch out for and enjoy. Medvedev’s impossible forehand and Thiem’s majestic backhand to name a few. Both players are at the height of their powers and this match, like so many of the best, will be won by mentality. The most sensible result to call would be that this goes to a deciding set as the conditions, without spectators, make for lapses in concentration and sudden swings in momentum, just as we saw in both semi-finals. It would be wise to stop at the three-set option and just bask in the drama. Because Dominic Thiem would be picked to beat anyone on tour in this final right now; apart from Daniil Medvedev in this sorcerous seventh gear of his. The Russian does not feel the pressure like others and will not go away. He just shades this battle but this final was made for the cliché “it could go either way”.

TSZ Latest