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Medvedev wins with underarm serve at ATP Finals

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By AP Updated: Nov 17, 2020 7:10 pm
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London, Nov. 17 (AP): Daniil Medvedev pulled off an underarm serve as he outlasted Alexander Zverev and joined Novak Djokovic as a winner at the ATP Finals on day two Monday.

Medvedev prevailed 6-3, 6-4, while Djokovic cruised past Finals debutant Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2 in an empty O2 Arena.

Djokovic and Medvedev meet on Wednesday to secure the group lead.

Medvedev led 4-3, 30-30 in the second set when he surprised Zverev with a quick underarm serve. It brought the German to the net and he lost the point when his backhand block volley flew long.

 “My wide serve was not working as well as I would like and he was returning good,” Medvedev said. “I see that he was five meters behind the baseline and I have the ball close to my racket, so I thought, ‘Go for it.’

 “It actually worked. It’s also smart.”

Two games later, he served a love game to earn his first win at the ATP Finals in his fourth match going back to last year.

Medvedev went 0-3 in his first Finals, including a loss to Zverev which he avenged after an attritional opening set.

Zverev, the 2018 champion, earned a break in the first game but gave it straight back with three double faults. Another double fault by Zverev in the sixth game gave Medvedev a 4-2 lead, and the Russian finished the set with his first ace.

A weak forehand into the net cost Zverev the decisive break at 3-3 in the second. Medvedev held with the underarm serve, and he beat Zverev again eight days after winning their Paris Masters final.

 “This was one of the most (intense matches) I had in my career,” Medvedev said.

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By AP Updated: Nov 17, 2020 7:10:32 pm