Defending champion Daniil Medvedev inched closer to the ATP Finals semifinals after beating 2018 champion Alexander Zverev on Tuesday by 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(6).

Medvedev who won the U.S. Open in September for his first Grand Slam title, maintained his perfect start to this yearโ€™s tournament but found it hard going against Alexander Zverev eventually winning the match in two hours and 35 minutes.

He leads Red Group and will be guaranteed a place in the final four if first-time qualifier Hubert Hurkacz beats local favorite Matteo Berrettini later Tuesday.

The Russian, who claimed his maiden grand slam title at the US Open in September, has now won the last five meetings with his German rival and leads their career head-to-head 6-5.

The win puts Medvedev top of the Red Group ahead of Zverev who took a walkover win in his first encounter over the injured Matteo Berrettini.

Medvedev was in a fight from the start, fending off three break points in his opening two service games but also breaking Zverev to take a 3-0 lead. The world No. 2 went on to win the opening set with a delightful backhand down the line.

Medvedev dropped only two points in his first five service games. But Zverev firing down 13 aces and taking the second set on a tiebreak.

In the deciding set, Medvedev had to save a break point for 6-5 and came from a mini-break down in the decisive tie-break to make it two round-robin wins out of two and move to the brink of the semi-finals.

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