Nadal saved that match point with a flawless drop shot and then rallied to beat Medvedev 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (4) Wednesday, keeping alive his chances of advancing from the group stage. Nadal said. "Is [this] a serious question or it's a joke?"
"How many years have you been with your (partner)?" asked the Spaniard, drawing laughs from the reporters. "Thank you very much".
However, Nadal completed his comeback by winning the breaker 7-4 to keep his hopes of a maiden ATP Finals title alive.
Medvedev was leading 5-1 in the decisive third set and had match point but threw it away as Nadal rattled off five successive games to take the match into a tie-break, which he won to claim the contest 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
In a rematch of their marathon US Open final in September which Nadal won in five sets, the Spaniard looked on the brink of elimination as Medvedev broke his serve twice at the start of the third set.
Medvedev continued to appear agitated, giving frequent sarcastic thumbs-up gestures to his team, and the Russian went into full meltdown mode as Nadal incredibly broke again while holding serve to level the set at 5-5.
Stefanos Tsitsipas was set to play defending champion Alexander Zverev in the evening match, with both players looking for a second win.
Nadal took the next game to edge 6-5 in front, although Medvedev finally regained his composure to steady the ship at 6-6 and take the match to a decisive tie-break. I just played my game.
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He then told the reporter why he felt that the question was inappropriate.
Djokovic has his eye on reclaiming the world No 1 spot this week, so that he can finish the year on top of the rankings table for the sixth time.
This was Nadal's first match back since he was forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters earlier this month with an abdominal tear.
Nadal admitted the win was 1-in-1000.
Still, Nadal insisted there was nothing wrong with him physically.
"Knowing that I would not be at my 100% in terms of feelings, in terms of movement, in terms of confidence or hitting the ball, I needed my best competitive spirit this afternoon, and I was not there in that way", Nadal said. And then of course he made couple of mistakes, no?
Daniil Medvedev could only do this as Rafael Nadal roared back to win.
Djokovic first has to beat Roger Federer on Thursday just to advance to the semi-finals.