Nearing defeat, Daniil Medvedev suddenly switched tactics at the ATP Finals and collected the biggest title of his career by beating U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 on Sunday in London.
The fourth-ranked Medvedev became the first player to beat each of the men who were Nos. 1-3 in the season-ending championship — and only the fourth to do it at any tour event in the past 30 years.
The comeback against No. 3 Thiem, in a match lasting more than 2½ hours, added to victories Medvedev produced against No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the round-robin portion of the tournament and No. 2 Rafael Nadal in Saturday's semifinals on an indoor hard court without spectators, barred because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Medvedev, a 24-year-old Russian, closed 2020 by going 10-0 in November, including seven wins against members of the top 10. He had no victories over top-10 opponents over the preceding 12 months.
"So I kno w what I'm capable of," he said. "Just need to produce it more and more."
Medvedev made a change in style during the second-set tiebreaker. Thiem had grabbed a 2-0 lead before Medvedev turned to an element of surprise by rushing to the net — both behind serves and returns — and reeling off the next seven points. Medvedev continued with that strategy to great effect in the final set.
Vlhova makes sure slalom streak grows
Petra Vlhova kept a streak alive as she waits for Mikaela Shiffrin to contribute again, winning a World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland.
All 28 World Cup slaloms since January 2017 have been won by Shiffrin, with 19 wins, or Vlhova, who also won Saturday.
Shiffrin, who returned to racing this weekend after 10 months away, placed fifth Sunday after taking second Saturday. Shiffrin had not raced since her father's death in early February.
Shiffrin missed the podium in a slalom race for the first time in nearly three years.
Auburn assesses its own penalty
Auburn won't participate in postseason play this season as a self-imposed penalty stemming from a bribery scheme involving former assistant coach Chuck Person, the university announced.
Federal prosecutors said Person, a former Auburn and NBA player who was in financial trouble, accepted $91,500 in bribes to steer players to a financial adviser.
Auburn said it has informed the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA, which could tack on more penalties.
"This was a difficult decision but the right decision," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement. "… We need to take this penalty now to put it behind us."