Rafael Nadal produced a magnificent comeback to keep his ATP Finals hopes alive with a three-set victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the O2 Arena.

Nadal went into Friday's contest knowing he had to win to have a chance of progressing to the last four of the season-ending showpiece.

His prospects of achieving that feat looked slim when the in-form Tsitsipas - who won his first two matches in straight sets - took the opener in a tie-break.

However, Nadal, who fought back from 5-1 down in the third set to see off Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday, again demonstrated his incredible powers of recovery in an absorbing encounter.

Devastating off both wings and supreme at the net, Nadal clinched a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 triumph in two hours and 52 minutes.

For the Spaniard to join Tsitsipas in progressing from Group Andre Agassi, he will need Medvedev to beat Alexander Zverev. Should the Russian do him that favour, Nadal will face Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

Neither player faced a break point in a high-quality first set, but it was Nadal whose defences were breached in the tie-break.

The world number one went long after an accurate forehand down the line from Tsitsipas, who wisely challenged mid-point to bring up a pair of set points. 

Tsitsipas sent down five aces in the opener and he took his first set point in that fashion, Nadal having no answer for a serve down the T.

A sensational forehand return helped Nadal bring up the first break points of the match in the fifth game of the second, but Tsitsipas saved both and an emphatic forehand volley saw him hold.

With the help of a spectacular passing shot, Nadal went 30-0 up on Tsitsipas' next service game, only for the world number six to again fight his way out of trouble behind some hugely impressive serving.

However, the pressure finally told in the ninth game as, after a rasping overhead from Nadal, Tsitsipas skewed a simple forehand wide to surrender the first break of an engrossing contest.

Nadal's fists were pumping when Tsitsipas sent a return long to set up a deciding set and he maintained his intensity in a fascinating third.

A brutal cross-court backhand return gave Nadal his third break point of the set at 3-3 but an admirably dogged Tsitsipas held firm once more.

The reward finally came for the relentless Nadal as he produced an incredible stretching forehand that forced Tsitsipas into an awkward volley he could only send wide, and the reigning French Open and US Open champion made no mistake in holding to wrap up a superb victory.

Novak Djokovic hopes to play at the Davis Cup Finals despite admitting he felt a "pretty sharp" pain in his elbow against Roger Federer on Thursday.

Djokovic failed to reach the last four at the ATP Finals after suffering a 6-4 6-3 defeat to Federer in London.

The Serbian 16-time grand slam champion was again troubled by his elbow, a worry ahead of the Davis Cup Finals beginning in Madrid on Monday.

"I hope it's nothing that will really unable me to play Madrid. The pain was pretty sharp, but I could play the rest of the match," Djokovic told a news conference.

"If I had something really serious I think I wouldn't be able to hold the racquet so it wasn't, it was probably just an awkward, quick movement that I did, but it did not impose any form of issues later on."

Djokovic suffered his first loss to Federer since 2015, the result handing Rafael Nadal the year-end number one ranking.

The 32-year-old said he was well below his best, while praising Federer's performance.

"There was not much that I did right this match to be honest, realistically he was the better player in all aspects and absolutely deserved to win," Djokovic said.

"He served great, moved well and returned my serve very well so from his end I think he did everything right, from my end I was just playing too neutral.

"I couldn't read his serve well and just a pretty bad match from my side."

Despite not living up to his usual standards to finish the year, Djokovic was happy with his 2019 after successes at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

"I'm not happy with the way I finished the season. Obviously this is not the way I want to play on the court first of all but you've got to accept that you have these kinds of days and move on," he said.

"If I have to draw the line, I think it was still a very good season winning two slams and five titles.

"Of course I'm still hot-headed off the court but all in all it was a good season."

Serbia are in Group A at the Davis Cup Finals, alongside France and Japan.

Rafael Nadal matched Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic by securing a fifth year-end number one, while also breaking a record set by the Serbian.

Federer was too good for Djokovic 6-4 6-3 at the ATP Finals on Thursday, reaching the semi-finals at the expense of the 16-time grand slam champion.

The result confirmed Nadal will finish the year at the top of the rankings for the fifth time.

The Spanish star joined Federer, Djokovic and Jimmy Connors on that tally, trailing only Pete Sampras (six).

It also marked the 16th straight year in which one of the 'Big Four' – Federer (2004-07 and 2009), Nadal (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019), Djokovic (2011-12, 2014-15 and 2018) and Andy Murray (2016) – has finished as world number one.

At 33, Nadal is the oldest year-end number one in ATP rankings history. Djokovic, 31 last year, held that mark previously.

Federer (20) still leads his rivals for most grand slams, although Nadal (19) and Djokovic (16) closed the gap this year.

Roger Federer described his ATP Finals victory over Novak Djokovic as "magical", having come up short when they last met in an epic Wimbledon final.

Swiss icon Federer earned a brilliant 6-4 6-3 victory at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday to join Dominic Thiem in advancing to the semi-finals at the Serbian's expense.

It was the 19-time grand slam champion's first win against Djokovic – whose defeat meant Rafael Nadal will end 2019 as the world number one – since 2015, with the 32-year-old having been triumphant in each of their previous five encounters.

The most recent of those saw Djokovic stave off a championship point before clinching the Wimbledon title following a tie-break at 12-12 in the fifth set.

Asked what he did differently on Thursday, Federer replied: "I won match point, I guess! It was so close at Wimbledon. It was a privilege to play that match, so many ups and downs.

"I thought I played an incredible tournament … and it's just a point or a shot here and there that made the difference and he got it.

"You move on, try harder next time and hopefully luck goes on your side. I stayed calm, I played great until the very end and I couldn't be more happy right now.

"[It was a] great atmosphere, great opponent. It was definitely incredibly special. I enjoyed it from the beginning.

"I played incredible and I knew I had to because that's what Novak does. I was able to produce. It was definitely magical. You guys [the fans] made it super special, I can't thank you enough."

Federer bounced back from losing his opening round-robin match to Thiem by beating Matteo Berrettini in straight sets and the 38-year-old stepped up his game again to overcome Djokovic.

"You always play better as the tournament goes on, that's why I think we played as well as we did at Wimbledon as well," said Federer, who suffered a semi-final defeat to Alexander Zverev in last year's ATP Finals.

"Dominic Thiem has been supreme in our group, made life difficult for both of us and put us in the situation that only the winner goes through.

"There was a lot riding on the match and I came out and I think I served great, had great anticipation, a clear game-plan and it worked great – hopefully not for the last time against Novak.

"I'm happy to stick around. Hopefully I'll go a step further than last year, I played a good match against Zverev last year but he was unreal."

Roger Federer triumphed in a win-or-bust ATP Finals encounter with Novak Djokovic at the O2 Arena on Thursday, meaning Rafael Nadal will end 2019 as the world number one.

Six-time champion Federer was in fine fettle as he restricted the rallies to seal an impressive 6-4 6-3 victory over Djokovic, ensuring it was he who qualified from Group Bjorn Borg behind Dominic Thiem.

The Serbian's defeat – his first in six meetings with the 38-year-old – ended his hopes of regaining top spot in the rankings from Nadal, who only replaced him last week.

Federer surrendered two championship points before falling to Djokovic in a thrilling five-set Wimbledon final in July, but he looked unbeatable as he clinched a first victory over the 16-time major winner since 2015.

Djokovic stayed cool to stave off a break point in game one but successive double faults put him under pressure in his next service game and Federer seized the initiative with a fierce backhand.

The match continued at a high pace – only five points in the opening set lasted for nine shots or more – and, after Djokovic battled back from 0-30 down to complete an essential hold in game nine, the Swiss sent down an ace to seal the set.

Federer kept the pressure on at the start of the second but was met with resistance as the world number two dug in to fight off a pair of break points with impressive work from the baseline.

Djokovic appeared to hurt his right elbow while stretching for the ball in game two yet seemed to be gaining momentum, only for a scintillating Federer forehand to deny him a chance to move 3-1 up.

The Swiss heeded his warning and pounced in the next game after a long forehand from Djokovic ended a baseline exchange on the second of three break points.

A pair of unforced errors helped hand Federer a trio of match points and he leapt into the air when Djokovic failed to get a volley over the net, completing a resounding win for the 19-time grand slam champion.

Matteo Berrettini bowed out of the ATP Finals on a high note by claiming his first victory of the tournament, ending Dominic Thiem's 100 per cent record in the process.

Thiem, who had already qualified for the semi-finals for the first time at the O2 Arena with magnificent victories over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 by an inspired Berrettini on Thursday.

The exertions put into defeating two of the all-time greats appeared to have taken a toll on the fifth seed, Berrettini capitalising to become the first Italian to win a match at the season-ending event.

Tournament debutant Berrettini struck 30 winners - 17 off his powerful forehand - and was broken only once, ending a successful season by levelling their head-to-head record at 2-2.

Federer and Djokovic will battle it out in the second session for the right to join Thiem in advancing from Group Bjorn Borg in London.

Berrettini seized control in the opening set by breaking to love for a 5-4 lead, a cross-court winner, following up one on his backhand side, drawing applause from his opponent.

The eighth seed failed to consolidate, netting a forehand volley after an excellent return from Thiem, but Berrettini put that behind him by bossing the tie-break, wrapping it up with an ace.

Berrettini's blistering forehand continued to fire in the second set and he broke to lead 4-2 following rasping winners off both wings, then ended his fruitful campaign with a drop shot that Thiem was unable to chase down.

Tennis twins Mike and Bob Bryan – the most successful doubles pair of all time – are to bring their careers to an end following the 2020 US Open.

The identical twin brothers from California have won 118 career doubles titles as a team, including 16 grand slams as well as an Olympic gold medal.

However, their last slam success came at the 2014 US Open, with the duo having won 18 trophies since then.

They will turn 42 in April and – having slipped down the doubles rankings to 27th – have decided to call time on their playing careers at Flushing Meadows, where they have won five titles, next year. 

"We took the last few months off to try and get our minds right and get our bodies and minds fresh and make this decision," Mike Bryan told USOpen.org.

"We feel it's the right time. It's just a perfect time to go. We feel like we can still be competitive and win, but at 42, we're really appreciative of getting so much longevity out of our careers.

"We feel like you can't play forever, so we just wanted to make the decision and go into next year knowing that we can see the finish line and play as hard as we can, but also appreciate being on tour, playing together and giving back to the fans a little bit."

The brothers – who have spent 438 weeks at the top of the world rankings – were the dominant force in doubles tennis from the early 2000s up until 2015, with their grasp having loosened in recent years.

Stefanos Tsitsipas made light work of defending ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev to book his place in the last four in London with a 6-3 6-2 victory.

Zverev outdid world number one Rafael Nadal on Monday but could not match the speed, power and precision shown by Tsitsipas, who has made the semi-finals on his first appearance in the season-ending tournament.

A break on Zverev's final serve of the opener put the 21-year-old in control, with another concession of serve from the world number seven following at the start of set two.

With victory firmly in his sights, Tsitsipas did not let up as he charged on to serve out a dominant triumph in just 75 minutes.

"I was really surprised by my performance," Tsitsipas said. "I did everything right. I just played my game. I had a clear picture on the court."

After an even start, it was Tsitsipas who made the breakthrough.

Having played two excellent drop shots in succession to hold serve, the Greek broke with an exquisite return onto Zverev's toes to lead 5-3.

Tsitsipas took the 39-minute set at the first time of asking – Zverev sending a lob just beyond the baseline.

The German survived two break points at the start of set two, with a fine backhand pass at the culmination of a long rally forcing deuce.

But Tsitsipas could smell blood and, after squandering another chance to break, did so at the fourth time of asking with a combination of superb backhand efforts.

Tsitsipas failed to take another break point at 3-1 up, sending a makeable passing stroke out of play, but made no mistake at the next time of asking with a perfectly constructed attack.

Zverev challenged well to stay in the match, but it merely stalled the inevitable as Tsitsipas – who faces Nadal in his final group match – went on to secure a fourth straight win over his opponent with a sweetly struck ace.

Rafael Nadal offered his apologies to Daniil Medvedev after the world number one produced a stunning comeback at the ATP Finals.

Nadal saved a match point before securing his first win of the tournament in a thrilling 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) triumph at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday.

Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in this year's US Open final, had broken twice to take a 5-1 lead in the decider before collapsing.

The Russian lost five successive games as Nadal forced a tie-break, with the Spaniard – who is still searching for his first ATP Finals trophy – taking advantage to put Medvedev on the brink of an early exit.

However, Nadal conceded he needed his fair share of good fortune to overcome the world number four, who has been in outstanding form in the second half of 2019.

"Honestly, I have been super lucky, that's the real thing," Nadal said. "Sorry to Daniil, it is a tough loss, he was playing much better than me in the third.

"Today is one of these things where one out of 1000 you win.

"At 5-3, when you have the first break, then you are only one break away. I know from personal experience how tough it is to close the matches, especially when you are two breaks in front and lose the first one.

"After the first one, I thought I had a chance. In general terms, I played much better than two days ago [against Alexander Zverev] so that's a positive thing for me.

"I have had lots of years on the tour, I love this sport, I love playing in these amazing stadiums. That's the biggest motivation possible. It's impossible not to fight when you have amazing support like this."

Having lost to defending champion Zverev on Monday, Nadal will most likely have to beat world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas in his final round robin match to progress to the semi-finals.

Rafael Nadal produced a stunning comeback to boost his progression chances at the ATP Finals, saving a match point before sealing a captivating 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory over Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev looked destined to gain a measure of vengeance for his loss to Nadal in this year's US Open final when he broke twice and took a 5-1 lead in the third set at the O2 Arena in London.

However, the world number one, who said he was not hampered by an abdominal injury and simply wanted to up his competitive level after losing his round-robin opener to defending champion Alexander Zverev, won five games in a row to force a tie-break.

Medvedev seemed to have lost his composure and made several sarcastic gestures towards his box before finally succumbing, leaving the ATP Finals debutant on the brink of elimination after second straight loss.

Nadal attacked the net to good effect in the early exchanges, though when facing the first break point in game seven it was a looping passing shot from the baseline at the end of a 35-shot rally that kept the set on serve.

The set went to a tie-break and Medvedev's forehand into the corner earned a mini-break to start, but Nadal hit straight back with his first point on the Russian's serve since game four.

Medvedev dominated Nadal's usually imperious groundstrokes and a rare error from the 33-year-old gave his opponent a chance to serve out the set, which he did not pass up.

The 19-time grand slam champion pumped his fist after starting the second with a break and he came from 0-30 down to consolidate it.

Medvedev appeared to become frustrated as he struggled to make in-roads – frequently giving a thumbs up in the direction of his box following lost points – and a double fault preceded a wayward forehand on Nadal's third set point.

An unforced error gifted the Russian a break at the start of the decider and, after the top seed failed to take two chances to get it back on serve, Medvedev produced an ace to move 2-0 up.

The world number four pounced on a poor drop-volley from Nadal by whipping a backhand pass into the far corner for a second break that looked sure to prove decisive.

However, Nadal staved off two more break points and a match point as he reduced the arrears and somehow clawed his way back into the set.

He forced the set back on serve when Medvedev failed to get a volley at the net across and the Russian's composure was shot, with Nadal successfully challenging a backhand that was called in to complete a memorable turnaround.

Tomas Berdych has seemingly confirmed he will announce his retirement from tennis on Saturday.

It was reported by Czech tabloid Blesk on Wednesday that former world number four Berdych will officially bring the curtain down on his career in London this weekend.

The 34-year-old, who has claimed 13 ATP Tour titles, has been struggling with a back issue since June 2018 and revealed a painful hip injury was hampering after his first-round exit at this year's US Open.

In a video posted to his official Twitter account, Berdych confirmed he will be making an announcement but provided no detail on the specifics.

"Hi guys, if you want a little surprise just don't watch any media or social networks, but I know it is impossible these days. I know, these little mistakes happen," said Berdych.

"I had it planned as a little surprise on Saturday where I'm going to be in London. But now it's not even possible because it is all over [the news], but it's fine. More information is going to come on Saturday."

Berdych has no grand slam titles to his name but reached the final of Wimbledon in 2010. He twice made the last four at the Australian Open (2014 and 2015) and reached the semi-finals at French Open in 2010 and the US Open in 2012.

Novak Djokovic praised Dominic Thiem's "unbelievable" performance after suffering a thrilling loss to the Austrian at the ATP Finals on Tuesday.

Djokovic went down to Thiem 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after an enthralling contest at the O2 Arena in London.

Thiem hit 51 winners and just as many unforced errors during an aggressive display that eventually paid off with victory in two hours, 47 minutes.

Djokovic, who will face Roger Federer in Group Bjorn Borg for a place in the semi-finals, praised Thiem's performance.

"I thought he deserved to win. He just played very courageous tennis and just smacking the ball, he went for broke, the entire match he played the same way he played the last point," the Serbian 16-time grand slam champion told a news conference.

"I mean, I have to put my hat down and congratulate him because he just played a great match."

Djokovic added: "I don't think I've experienced too many matches like this where my opponent just goes for every single shot.

"I mean, he was unbelievable, in some stages it was just incredible that he was just literally smacking the ball as hard as he can and it was going in.

"Of course his level is super high, today was unbelievable, but whether he can keep that up every match, if he does, chapeau, there's not much you can say, for sure he's playing great tennis."

Dominic Thiem said he was "in the zone" during his thrilling ATP Finals win over Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.

The Austrian booked his spot in the semi-finals in London by overcoming Djokovic 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) at the O2 Arena.

Thiem, who beat Roger Federer in Group Bjorn Borg on Sunday, said it was an unforgettable performance.

"I was in the zone from the first point on," he said in an on-court interview.

"I served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, but obviously I was playing the best returner in the game so I didn't worry too much, I was focusing on the tie-break and coming back from 4-1, a little bit of luck here and there.

"But, in general, it was just unbelievable and a match that I will probably never forget."

Thiem hit 51 winners during his win, coming from 4-1 down in the third-set tie-break to edge past Djokovic.

The 26-year-old was delighted with his performance and said it was the level required to beat the 16-time grand slam champion.

"This was really one of these very special matches that I practised all my life for, what I practised all my childhood for, a really epic one in front of an amazing atmosphere, beating a real legend of our game," Thiem said.

"I couldn't be happier and also I qualified for the semi-finals which is the best."

He added: "I was playing Novak, who is in great shape, who is probably the best player in the world right now.

"I had to do something special and luckily a lot of these balls and these winners went into the court."

Thiem will face Italian Matteo Berrettini in his final match in the group on Thursday.

Dominic Thiem followed up his win over Roger Federer with a stunning performance in an enthralling 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory over Novak Djokovic to secure his progression in the ATP Finals.

The most recent meeting between Djokovic and Thiem went the distance at Roland Garros in May, and it was the latter who triumphed again in a two-hour 50-minute classic.

After losing a 66-minute first set, Thiem rallied to force a decider for the first time in a match at this year's edition of the Finals, while ending Matteo Berrettini's slim qualification hopes in the process.

Despite going a break down, Djokovic - who will now battle it out with Federer for a last-four spot - seemed to have turned the tide in the final set, but Thiem thrived under the pressure, fighting back to clinch a remarkable win on a tie-break.

Djokovic looked set to take control after breaking on Thiem's second service game, yet the Austrian returned the favour to draw level at 3-3.

Thiem denied Djokovic a chance to claim the set in game 10, forcing the world number two onto the backfoot with a venomous serve.

Djokovic was at his best to nose himself ahead in the tiebreak with a stunning cross-court shot, but Thiem found a way back, only for an overhit forehand to hand to give last year's runner up an advantage he did not relinquish.

Two sensational backhands saw Thiem respond with a decisive early break in set two, racing into a lead that proved unassailable.

Thiem raised his arms to the crowd as he restored parity on his serve, though it was Djokovic's turn to fire up the spectators in the opening game of the decider, thumping the air after a wonderful defensive shot won him his first point.

It was to no avail as Thiem claimed another break, but Djokovic - after failing to take advantage of three chances to bounce straight back - did manage to swing momentum in his favour in game six.

However, Thiem refused to go down, holding serve magnificently before breaking for a fourth time, though a loss of focus at the vital moment resulted in another tie-break.

A sloppy start put Thiem on the back foot, but three successive winners paved the way for the world number five to force Djokovic into a weak shot into the net and ensure his place in the semi-finals for the first time.

Roger Federer is thrilled to be going head-to-head with world number two Novak Djokovic in what could be a pivotal ATP Finals encounter for both players.

Federer bounced back from his opening defeat to Dominic Thiem by beating Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 on Tuesday, and will face Djokovic for the first time since losing in a five-set epic in this year's Wimbledon final.

Last year's runner up Djokovic, who is aiming to dethrone Rafael Nadal as world number one, would secure his progression from the Bjorn Borg group should he beat Thiem in Tuesday's late match.

Depending on the result, and how Thiem does against Berrettini on Thursday, Federer could potentially have to beat Djokovic to ensure his place in the last four.

However, Federer is merely focusing on making sure his own performance is at its highest possible level, as he goes up against an opponent he has faced on 48 occasions in the past, winning 22 times.

"No, I'm excited playing against him. I'm excited to see how he's going to play tonight, as well," Federer told a news conference after his win over Berrettini.

"It's definitely going to give me some more information about what to expect. But other than that, I think I need to focus on my game, what I do best and regardless of what I need to do, I just hope I play well.

"We have played a lot of matches since [Wimbledon], and I think we both look back at a great match. I think we both can take away some confidence from the match. Him, obviously a lot. Me, maybe a tad bit less.

"But at the end of the day, I wasn't hoping [for] him not to be in my section or in my draw. I didn't hope I was never going to play him again.

"Actually, it's good for me to play him again, and maybe that all helps to get a chance to get him back or whatever it is."

While Djokovic and Nadal are battling it out for top spot in the ATP rankings, Federer claims he is no longer concerned with where he is placed among the world's elite, as long as his fitness remains in tact.

"Points? Yeah, who cares? Who cares if I'm ranked three, five, nine?" Federer said.

"If I feel like I'm 100 per cent fit, then I feel like I have a chance to win the tournament.

"But if I don't feel that way but I'm ranked one or three or five, whatever it may be, I know it's going to be extremely more difficult and sometimes almost impossible, even though I feel like if I'm in a draw, usually I always give myself a chance."

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