© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Alexander Zverev celebrates his second Nitto ATP Finals title.

Five Takeaways From The 2021 Nitto ATP Finals

ATPTour.com looks back at the season finale's debut in Turin

Alexander Zverev ended the ATP Tour season on a high Sunday evening when he defeated Daniil Medvedev for the Nitto ATP Finals title, completing a thrilling week in Turin.

ATPTour.com looks back at five takeaways from the week at the season finale.

1) Zverev Captures The Title
It is safe to say Zverev earned his second Nitto ATP Finals title. After losing against Medvedev in a final-set tie-break in round-robin play, he clawed into the semi-finals and never looked back.

The German eliminated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a gripping three-setter in the last four and then served past Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match to claim the trophy. Zverev is the fourth player in Nitto ATP Finals history to defeat the top two players in the FedEx ATP Rankings in the semi-finals and final, joining Ivan Lendl (1982), Stefan Edberg (1989) and Andre Agassi (1990).

“It is special, and I am super thrilled and happy right now,” Zverev added. “There is no better way to end the season than winning here. I am incredibly happy and I am already looking forward to next year.”

Zverev previously captured the crown at The O2 in London three years ago, when he defeated Djokovic and Roger Federer en route to his victory. He finishes 2021 tied for his career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of World No. 3.

This was the fifth consecutive year a player outside the Big Four of Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray has won the Nitto ATP Finals. Zverev is the only person who has triumphed twice during that span.

Alexander Zverev
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
2) Medvedev Falls Just Short Of Title Defence
Medvedev appeared well-positioned to successfully defend his Nitto ATP Finals title, but fell just short at the season finale.

For the second consecutive year, the Russian advanced to the championship match with an undefeated 4-0 record. But while he rallied from a set down last year against Dominic Thiem for the title, he was unable to battle back against Zverev, who did not lose serve in the final to snap the World No. 2’s nine-match winning streak at the event.

Medvedev did not become the first repeat Nitto ATP Finals champion since Djokovic’s four-peat from 2012-15, but that will not stop him from pushing to win the biggest events.

“I will try to do my best, try to win more titles, try to be in the finals of big tournaments,” Medvedev said.

Daniil Medvedev
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
3) Herbert/Mahut Triumph Again
Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut lost their second Red Group match against Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in a Match Tie-break. But the third seeds got their revenge on Sunday when they stormed past the American-British duo in straight sets to lift the Nitto ATP Finals trophy for the second time.

Herbert and Mahut became the eighth team — and the first all-French pair — to win the season finale on multiple occasions. This was their sixth appearance as a duo at the year-end championships.

“It is an amazing feeling winning here for a second time,” Mahut said. “We lost to them in the round robin, when they played amazing, and today we knew we had to play our best level. I think we played our best match of the week. Finishing the season like this is a great achievement.”

Team Herbert, Mahut
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
4) Successful Move To Turin
The Nitto ATP Finals made its debut in Turin this year after a 12-year stay in London. The city embraced the event from the moment the players arrived until the last ball when fans cheered Zverev’s victory.

“What does make it so special in Italy is the fans, because the fans are absolutely insane. It’s the loudest crowd, it’s the most energetic crowd," Zverev said. "Rome every year is one of my favourite tournaments of the year. I think this one has topped it and I can’t wait to play in Italy every single time in my career. I love Italy so much and I hope Italy loves tennis just as much."

There was signage throughout the city promoting the event as well as a fan village in the Piazza San Carlo, where there were various activations to bring fans closer to the season finale. The players also surprised the fans on the Friday before the tournament when they walked through the city to take the event’s official photo.

Turin is the 15th different city to host the Nitto ATP Finals. It was initially held in Tokyo in 1970.

Nitto ATP Finals
Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for ATP
5) Sinner’s Shining Moment
One of the most emotional moments of the event came during round-robin play. When home favourite Matteo Berrettini withdrew due to a left oblique injury before his second match, first alternate Jannik Sinner, another Italian, stepped in with just a few hours’ notice before he had to face Miami Open presented by Itau champion Hubert Hurkacz.

With the full support of the crowd inside the Pala Alpitour, Sinner played a flawless match to beat the Pole 6-2, 6-2. Before doing his on-court interview, the home favourite had to step away from the microphone several times because of the booming standing ovation the crowd was giving him.

“The atmosphere is amazing, everyone cheering here for me and for Italy,” Sinner said. “Playing in Italy is special because you stick together and you want to win together, and I had this feeling today. When the whole stadium is playing [with you] against one guy, it’s not easy.”

Jannik Sinner
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour