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Sport

Medvedev excited to be part of new men's rivalries

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian Daniil Medvedev said he wants to be part of a new series of long-running rivalries in men’s tennis after beating Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals title on Sunday.

Tennis - ATP Finals - The O2, London, Britain - November 22, 2020 Russia's Daniil Medvedev kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning the final match against Austria's Dominic Thiem Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The 24-year-old completed a remarkable week with a 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 victory to land the biggest title of his career to date.

His victory over third-ranked Thiem, following a semi-final win over world number two Rafa Nadal and a group stage win over world number one Novak Djokovic, means he is only the fourth player ever to beat the top-three ranked men in a single event.

It also means Medvedev heads into 2021 tipped as the most likely of the so-called next generation to win a Grand Slam.

With Roger Federer now 39 and his fellow 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal 34 and 17-time major winner Djokovic 33, their incredible career-long rivalries have a limited time to run.

The hope is that Medvedev, U.S. Open champion Thiem, 27, and the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov, will soon provide the same blockbuster rivalries.

“Hopefully,” Medevedev told reporters when asked if his series with Thiem, which is 3-2 in the Austrian’s favour, could develop into something special.

Thiem said “exciting times” are ahead for the men’s game and Medvedev said the young guns would keep pushing each other.

“Hopefully we can be there for a long time, maybe let’s say

pushing the other generations back,” he said. “The top three, they probably went through two, three generations without dropping their level, which is not easy.

“But what is definitely good from us, from Dominic, from me, if we talk about this tournament, we managed both to beat Rafa and Novak, which is an amazing accomplishment.”

Medvedev ends the year on a 10-match winning streak and with wins against Djokovic, Nadal and Thiem in London, he said he will head into the new season brimming with confidence.

“To beat Dominic the way he played today and to manage to beat him is probably my best victory of my life.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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