Rafael Nadal produced an astonishing comeback to beat Daniil Medvedev in the ATP Finals in London on Wednesday. The Spaniard was on the brink of defeat when facing a match point at 1-5 down in the deciding set but stormed back to win 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

“Today is one of those days that one out of 1,000 you win and it happened today,” said a delighted Nadal, the top seed in the tournament.

The Spaniard said earning a break back in the deciding set infused him with confidence that he could battle back.

“When you have the first break, 5-3, then you are only one break away,” he added. “And I know from my personal experience how tough it is to close out matches, especially when you have two breaks in front and you lose the first one. From that moment I thought I can have a chance.”

Both players were under intense pressure after losing their opening round-robin matches on Monday – Nadal went down in straight sets to Alexander Zverev and Medvedev was beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal is on a double mission in at the O2 Arena in London – aiming to win the end-of-season event for the first time in his illustrious career and to secure the year-end No 1 spot.

Russia’s Medvedev, who has won two Masters titles this season, took the first set on a tie-break to leave Nadal staring down the barrel. The Spanish veteran broke his 23-year-old opponent in the first game of the second set, repeating the trick to level the match.

But Medvedev was quickly into his stride in the decider, sprinting to the net to dispatch a cross-court backhand past his opponent and earn a double break.

Nadal, who came into the tournament under an injury cloud, fended off a match point on his own serve and then, roared on by the crowd, broke Medvedev twice to level.

The match went to a tie-break and Medvedev was first to falter, hitting a regulation forehand wide to hand Nadal two match points and he grabbed the opportunity.

The Spaniard has qualified 15 straight times for the ATP Finals but has never clinched the title, won a record six times by Roger Federer and five times by Novak Djokovic, who is battling Nadal for the No 1 ranking.

Twitter was left in awe of Nadal’s fighting spirit and hailed the 33-year-old for his gritty performance on Wednesday.

Here are some reactions:


[With inputs from AFP]