If Nadal does advance, he'll face Roger Federer in Saturday's semifinals. "I don't know if I will see you tomorrow because it depends on the match of this evening but I did all the things that I could today", said Nadal.
The Spaniard prior to this, four times finished the year in the status of the first racket of the world (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017) and is now on par with Djokovic and Federer in the number of finishes of the season in the rank of the first racket of the world - five. The Spaniard could not capitalise but he upped the pressure in Tsitsipas's next serve game and earned another break point, which the Greek again survived. But the 19-time Grand Slam champion produced an astonishing comeback to defeat Medvedev, the Russian fourth seed, on Wednesday and give himself a chance of qualifying from the round-robin phase.
But Nadal put increasing pressure on his opponent's serve and a single break in sets two and three were enough for him to seal the match.
The 21-year-old debutant Tsitsipas has already qualified for the semifinals after winning the previous two group matches on fire, while Nadal will definitely go home if he loses the last round group match.
After the match Nadal received the trophy for finishing the year as the top-ranked player.
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Earlier, Matteo Berretini ruined Dominic Thiem's chances of winning the $2.8 million for an undefeated victor, in what was a meaningless victory for the Italian in terms of qualification for the semi-finals.
"It is something that is really emotional for me".
Nadal was eliminated in the group stage of the season-ending event on Friday, but could still look back on a successful week after edging out Novak Djokovic for the year-end No. 1 ranking. A lot of work to be where we are today and without all my team and family this year next to me this thing would be impossible to me. Pete Sampras did it six times. Tsitsipas, who is making his first appearance at the finals, is now, following the matches in Group Bjorn Borg, the only man who could win the $2.8 million on offer to anyone who can go through the intense battle of the ATP Finals to victory without losing a match.
It's clear: after this match I can head into the semis feeling very confident. "For me that was important, more than being in that semifinals or not".