Rafael Nadal fought back from the set down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas and defend himself in the ATP Final.
The first set was a tight affair with a dominating service and it was no surprise going to the tiebreak where Nadal was made to pay a few loose points and Tsitsipas served the set with an ace.
Nadal revealed the chance of the first break point at the start of the second set and Tsitsipas remained firm until the world number one finally broke through in the ninth game and then held serve to force the third set.
In the final set, the two players brought their best tennis to the match when they competed one-on-one but in the 11th match, Nadal broke through again and then held his own serve to win 6-7 6-4 7-5 and he must now hope for Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexander Zverev tonight to make a match with Roger Federer on Saturday afternoon.
Rafael Nadal defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets
RAFAEL NADAL VS STEFANOS TSITSIPAS AS HAPPENED
THIRD SET (* show server)
* NADAL 6-7 6-4 7-5 TSITSIPAS
Tsitsipas returned a long time ago, confirmed by Hawkeye. 15-0. Tsitsipas return winner. Servicing Big Nadal, 30-15. Forehand Big Nadal withdrew a mistake from Tsitsipas. Two match points.
Tsitsipas defensive goes into the goal. GAME. SET. NADAL MATCH.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 6-5 TSITSIPAS *
Tsitsipas double error, 30-15. Forehand winner Nadal on the front lines, 30-30. GOD. Nadal's incredible forehand won at the front. Resting point.
Large service was followed by a large forehand from Tsitsipas. Brave tennis. Juice. Tsitsipas backhand to goal. The second break point.
Nadal's passing kick and Tsitsipas volley wide. Nadal BREAKS. He will serve for the next match.
* NADAL 6-7 6-4 5-5 TSITSIPAS
Nadal forehand long time, 15-15. Tsitsipas wrong-hitting a forehand, 30-15.
Nadal really had fun on the internet today and another good volley made a mistake from Tsitsipas.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 4-5 TSITSIPAS *
Tsitsipas forehand winner, 40-0. Backhand Nadal returns to goal. We go in this third set. Two hours and 35 minutes so far.
* NADAL 6-7 6-4 4-4 TSITSIPAS
Nadal Forehand Winner, 30-15. Tsitsipas forehand winner, 30-30. Crowd from Tsitsipas but Nadal is too good in the net with a clutch volley.
Nadal holds with the forehand winner.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 3-4 TSITSIPAS *
Explosion. Nadal opened the game with a winner who even Tsitsipas did not move. But credit to Greece, he moved to 40-15.
Nadal attacks the goal and ends with a volley. More big breakthroughs from Nadal who got the error from Tsitsipas. Juice.
Tsitsipas tried to serve and volleyed but was continued by Nadal's backhand. The first 134mph service was too hot for Nadal.
Tennis Gusty from Tsitsipas withstands once again.
* NADAL 6-7 6-4 3-3 TSITSIPAS
Nadal forehand long, 0-30. Tsitsipas has never been in this position many times. Nadal forehand winner. Tsitsipas backhand to goal, 30-all.
Nadal's gorgeous volley. And he holds it again.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 2-3 TSITSIPAS *
Nadal's brutal groundstroke and he completed the points with a big win, 0-30.
The big fist pump from Nadal as he strikes the net and ends with a volley. Two break points. As Tsitsipas Card. A good approach from Tsitsipas and he managed to volley. Juice.
Massive hold by Greece as he trains the winner of the forehand.
* NADAL 6-7 6-4 2-2 TSITSIPAS
Easy to hold again for Nadal. Tsitsipas hasn't returned at all today.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 1-2 TSITSIPAS *
Mistakes scattered about the game from Tsitsipas and he dragged the forehand wide, deuce.
But he came through another service game with several services and volleyball.
* NADAL 6-7 6-4 1-1 TSITSIPAS
Double mistake Nadal, 40-30 but responded with a big service that got the error from Tsitsipas.
NADAL 6-7 6-4 0-1 TSITSIPAS *
Nadal in the goal, 30-30. Tsitsipas cards to win the game and make an ideal start to the set.
* NADAL 6-7 6-4 TSITSIPAS
Forehand Tsitsipas' long defense at the opening point. Tsitsipas long backhand, 30-0. Three set points. Nadal missed the volley straight ahead then went on for a long time with the forehand.
But he finished the job when Tsitsipas returned to flying long ago. GAME ON!
NADAL 6-7 5-4 TSITSIPAS *
Nadal smash winner, 30-40. The big hand pump from the world No. 1. Resting point. Tsitsipas wide forehand. Nadal break.
* NADAL 6-7 4-4 TSITSIPAS
Backhand winner Nadal, 15-15. Nadal volleyball winner, 30-15. Nadal continued to hold comfortably.
NADAL 6-7 3-4 TSITSIPAS *
Another opening for Nadal as he trains the forehand at the forefront, 0-30. A good fight from Tsitsipas to reach 40-30. Nadal's volley is too good for Tsitsipas, deuce.
Tsitsipas backhand misplaced. Nadal break point. Serve big to Greece. And he comes again.
* NADAL 6-7 3-3 TSITSIPAS
Nadal lasted until 15. The Spaniard took power with the first serve 128mph. Usually not that high.
NADAL 6-7 2-3 TSITSIPAS *
BANG! Nadal crushes the back-to-back forehand winner. 15-30. Tsitsipas' double fault. Two break points. Tsitsipas forehand winner. Nadal forehand into the goal. Juice.
Serve and win volleyball from Tsitsipas. Big grip!
* NADAL 6-7 2-2 TSITSIPAS
Forehand cross court Nadal catches the line for the winner. Nadal's wide service classics, 40-15. And the ace locks the game. There are still no break points in the match so far.
NADAL 6-7 1-2 TSITSIPAS *
Tsitsipas smit winner, 40-15. And one more ace must be completed. Very impressive presentation of Greek.
* NADAL 6-7 1-1 TSITSIPAS
Good response from Nadal when he held on to love.
NADAL 6-7 0-1 TSITSIPAS *
Nadal backhand on goal, 30-15. The winner of the dropshot from Tsitsipas and then Ace. Greek is flying now.
Rafael Nadal takes a forehand
NADAL 6-7 TSITSIPAS – TIEBREAK
Nadal forehand long time ago, 0-1. Nadal forehand winner, 1-1. Nadal returned to the goal, 1-2 Serve and win volleyball from Nadal, 2-2. Nadal forehand to goal, 2-3.
Nadal long backhand, 2-4. Tsitsipas forehand to goal, 3-4. Forehand defensive Tsitsipas to goal, 4-4. Nadal backhand to goal, 4-5.
Nadal lob was called out and Hawkeye confirmed it, 4-6. Tsitsipas Card, 4-7.
NADAL 6-6 TSITSIPAS *
The winner of vintage forehand Nadal is at the forefront, 15-15. Large tsitsipas serving, 40-15. And an ace to complete. Tiebreak time.
* NADAL 6-5 TSITSIPAS
Serve remains a dominant factor in this match because Nadal recorded himself at least a tiebreaker.
NADAL 5-5 TSITSIPAS *
Quickfire service game from the youngest man in the tournament. It ended with a forehand winner who was almost never driven by Nadal.
* NADAL 5-4 TSITSIPAS
Tsitsipas played at Nadal in front of the net but the Spaniard remained strong and won points. Big boxing pump. Nadal smash winner.
Forehand Tsitsipas is only wide, 40-15. Nadal holds.
NADAL 4-4 TSITSIPAS *
Good aggressive tennis from Nadal and he completed the points in the goal, 15-15. Tsitsipas forehand in goal, 15-30.
Feel wonderful on the internet again from Tsitspas, 40-30. Tsitsipas backhand to goal. Juice. The Greek coach really had a great time in the net, the winner of another backhand volley. And he came when Nadal made a defensive backhand. Still serving.
* NADAL 4-3 TSITSIPAS
Back-to-back love applies to Nadal. Looks comfortable serving so far.
Stefanos Tsitsipas won the first set in the tiebreaker
NADAL 3-3 TSITSIPAS *
A nice touch on goal by Tsitsipas after Nadal's backhand returned right at his feet. Back-to-back ace for Greece to hold service again.
* NADAL 3-2 TSITSIPAS
Nadal drove to 40-0. Tsitsipas caught him with the return of a deep forehand. But extensive service can get the job done.
NADAL 2-2 TSITSIPAS *
Efficient service game from Tsitsipas when he holds love.
* NADAL 2-1 TSITSIPAS
Nadal's double fault at the opening point. Backhand Tsitsipas large calf into the air, 30-15.
Tsitsipas' approach shot was not good enough and Nadal punished him with a backhand pass. Serve and volley from Nadal.
NADAL 1-1 TSITSIPAS *
Nadal forehand long time ago, 40-15. Tsitsipas applies too much for forehand, 40-30. And he then pulls the forehand wide, deuce.
Played well by Tsitsipas when he served and volleyed. And he held it when his backhand tilted shortly caught Nadal.
* NADAL 1-0 TSITSIPAS
Double mistake Nadal, 15-30. Followed by an ace. And he held it when Tsitsipas netted forehand returns.
14:02: The players exited the field and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
13:55: Tsitsipas is the only player who has never lost a tournament, but he only defeated Nadal once in their five matches.
13:50: Here is the semi-final scenario:
1) Zverev advances to SF IF he defeats Medvedev
2) Zverev advanced to SF IF he lost to Medvedev in three sets, AND Tsitsipas defeated Nadal
3) Nadal advances to SF IF he defeats Tsitsipas AND Medvedev defeats Zverev
4) Medvedev advances to SF IF he defeats Zverev in 2 sets AND Tsitsipas defeats Nadal
13:40: Twenty minutes of today's first single match between Nadal and Tsitsipas.
The final semifinal place at the Nitto ATP Finals will be decided between Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, who are the defending champions.
Tsitsipas has qualified for the semi-finals by winning his first two matches in the Andre Agassi Group.
13:30: Hello and welcome to live coverage of Rafael Nadal's round-robin battle against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the ATP Final.