Medvedev goes underarm in ATP Finals win

·2-min read

Daniil Medvedev used a serve straight from the Nick Kyrgios playbook in his defeat of Alexander Zverev as he joined Novak Djokovic with a victory on day two of the ATP Finals.

Medvedev used an underarm serve as he prevailed 6-3 6-4 over 2018 champion Zverev, while Djokovic cruised past tournament debutant Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-2 in an empty O2 Arena.

Djokovic and Medvedev will meet on Wednesday with the winner likely to top the group.

Medvedev led 4-3, 30-30 in the second set when he surprised Zverev with a quick underhand serve.

It brought the German to the net and the Russian won the point when Zverev's backhand block volley flew long.

"I didn't do it to have a laugh and mock him. I did it to win the point," Medvedev said of the underarm serve tactic.

"I see that he was five metres behind the baseline and I have the ball close to my racquet, so I thought, 'Go for it'.

"It actually worked. It's also smart.

"I won't be doing it often."

Two games later, Medvedev served a love game to earn his first win at the season-ending event in his fourth match going back to his debut last year.

The top-ranked Djokovic smothered Schwartzman after conceding an early break and, despite no fans, he celebrated in trademark style by gesturing to each section of the 20,000-capacity arena.

"Why I celebrated? Because that's my celebration and that's also my gratitude to the court and to this opportunity to be able to compete," the Serb said.

"Even though there was no crowd in the stands, I know that there was a lot of people watching it on TV, so that was me sharing that emotion with them."

Djokovic hasn't lost an opening match at the ATP Finals since 2007, and he is now 6-0 against Argentine Schwartzman.

The 33-year-old Djokovic has won the elite event five times - one short of Roger Federer's record.

In the doubles, Australian John Peers and New Zealander Michael Venus were beaten in their team debut at the season finale.

The trans-Tasman pairing fought hard and saved one match point before they went down 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 to Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.