5-1 down in third ... but Rafa won

Mercury (Hobart) - - TENNIS -

FACING match point at 5-1 down in the third set, Rafael Nadal gave him­self about a one-in-a-thou­sand chance of turn­ing things around against Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Fi­nals yes­ter­day.

Those odds turned out to be more than good enough for the top-ranked Spaniard.

Nadal saved that match point with a per­fect drop shot and then ral­lied to beat Medvedev 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, keep­ing alive his chances of ad­vanc­ing from the group stage.

“To­day is one of those days that one out of 1000 you win and it hap­pened to­day,” Nadal said. “In that mo­ment [facing match point], what you think is prob­a­bly in five min­utes you are in the locker room, be­cause that’s the more nor­mal thing. In that mo­ment, you play with not much pres­sure be­cause you are al­most lost.”

Nadal looked headed for a sec­ond loss at the sea­so­nend­ing tour­na­ment but won five games in a row to go 6-5 up in the de­cid­ing set. In the tiebreaker, Medvedev missed a rou­tine fore­hand to hand Nadal a match point and then sent a back­hand just wide.

Pic­ture: GETTY

GOT THERE: A re­lieved Rafael Nadal celebrates his tough three­set win yes­ter­day against Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Fi­nals in Lon­don. Nadal won five games straight to charge home and score the victory.

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