Sports

Thiem stuns Federer at ATP Finals

London, Nov 11 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 11/11/2019 12:01:13 PM IST

Dominic Thiem recorded his third win over Roger Federer in 2019 to cause an early shock at the ATP Finals.

The Swiss, who bowed out to Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals last year, was taken out of his comfort zone by Thiem, who sealed a wonderful 7-5 7-5 victory in one hour and 40 minutes of scintillating tennis at London’s O2.

French Open runner-up Thiem, who has claimed five titles this season, including a maiden Masters 1000 at Indian Wells, was making his fourth appearance at the end-of-season tournament where he has yet to make progress past the round-robin stage.

The French Open runner-up was by no means intimidated by Federer and he made a crisp start by winning the opening couple of games before the Swiss warmed to proceedings as he quickly restored parity.

But Federer dropped serve for the second time in the match when a couple of unforced errors at 5-5 handed Thiem the opportunity to serve out the set and the Austrian obliged.

Thiem stayed ultra-aggressive in a tight second set while Federer’s footwork and timing appeared to be letting him down.

The 26-year-old executed his game plan to perfection as he broke to love in the 11th game and then served out the match after taking his second match point.

Federer, ranked third, will now be a particularly dangerous obstacle for Novak Djokovic, who opened with a handsome win over Italian debutant Matteo Berrettini earlier on Sunday. The rivals are now scheduled to lock horns in the final round-robin match on Thursday.

Federer also lost his opening group match last year to Kei Nishikori but recovered to reach the semi-finals.

Thiem has now beaten Federer on clay, hard, indoor hard and grass.

The Austrian improves to 4-6 and Federer falls to 57-16 at ATP Finals.

With that win Thiem will play Djokovic in the next round of matches on Tuesday, while Federer will take on debutant Matteo Berrettini.

It means Federer’s group-stage meeting with Djokovic, their first since July’s Wimbledon final, will take place on Thursday.

The 38-year-old Swiss will likely need to avenge that five-set defeat at the All England Club if he is to reach the semi-finals at the O2.

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