Sports

ATP Finals: Dominic Thiem beats Djokovic to reach final

London, Nov 21 (AFP/Agencies) | Publish Date: 11/21/2020 12:16:34 PM IST

Dominic Thiem recovered from squandering four match points in a dramatic second-set tie-break to beat Novak Djokovic in the last four at the ATP Finals on Saturday. 

The US Open champion won 7-5, 6-7 (10/12), 7-6 (7/5) and will face either Rafael Nadal or Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final at the elite eight-man event. The world’s top four players all made it through to the semi-finals for the first time at London’s O2 Arena, which is hosting the season-ending event for the 12th and final year.

Thiem forced the only break to take a tight first set 7-5 but neither player could make the breakthrough in the second set, which went to a tie-break. Each set came down to just a few points and it was Thiem who claimed the biggest points in the decider. Thiem increased his aggression to win six consecutive points from 0/4 down in the final-set tie-break and converted his sixth match point with a powerful forehand approach shot. Thiem is only the second player in 2020 to win a tie-break against the World No. 1. Djokovic entered the third-set tie-break with a 15-1 tie-break record this season.

Thiem has now won five of his seven most recent ATP Head2Head matches against Djokovic, which includes two wins at this event. The Austrian also earned a final-set tie-break victory against Djokovic in the round-robin stage last year.

With his fifth win against Djokovic (5-7), Thiem joins Andy Murray as the only players to beat each member of the Big Three on five or more occasions. Thiem also owns six wins against Rafael Nadal (6-9) and has triumphed five times against Roger Federer (5-2). Thiem has excelled in matches against the Big Three since the start of the 2019 ATP Tour season (9-3).

 

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