Dominic Thiem edges Novak Djokovic in thriller to advance to ultimate of ATP Finals

The reigning US Open champion produced his greatest tennis in the course of the match’s largest factors, saving break factors and set factors to qualify for Sunday’s ultimate. 

Each gamers have been evenly matched within the opening set till Thiem bought the primary break of the match late into the primary set which finally proved decisive. 

The pair performed out a mammoth second set tie break, with each struggling to hit the successful shot, earlier than Djokovic finally managed to edge it.

Within the decisive third set, as soon as once more they could not be separated, and Thiem produced a exceptional comeback within the third set tie break, coming from 4-Zero right down to finally win and advance to the ultimate in London for the second yr in a row.

“It was for certain a psychological battle,” Thiem mentioned afterward.

“I imply, I bought so tight within the second set tie break, to start with as a result of to play these legends is at all times going to be one thing particular and enjoying for a ultimate on the ATP Finals can be one thing very particular. I believed after my first massive title in New York, I will be a bit of bit extra calm however that was a mistake, I assume,” Thiem mentioned.

“I used to be simply as tight and simply as nervous as earlier than. And it was a lot on the sting, that match, like each single match right here the place the very best gamers on this planet are going through off. So I am simply extremely completely satisfied to be via and simply attempt to prepare for tomorrow.”

Thiem celebrates winning the first set against Djokovic.

Not a lot to separate them

In a cagey opening set, every participant held on to their providers video games till very late, with their highly effective serves and glorious floor video games proving an excessive amount of for one another. 

The stress proved all an excessive amount of for Thiem at one level as, after shedding a recreation to offer Djokovic the lead within the opening set, he tossed his racket off the court docket into the stands in obvious frustration. 

The decisive break got here within the 11th recreation of the tight set, as Thiem finally edged a Djokovic service recreation to make the rating 6-5. He held on to his following service recreation to win the opening set and transfer inside a set of a spot within the ultimate. 

Thiem throws a damaged racket to members of his team.

After the quick break for the gamers to catch their breath and tackle some vitamins, the second set started in an analogous vein, with each gamers holding serve. 

Djokovic, trying stronger because the match progressed, did not capitalize on any of the break factors he crafted for himself, because the second set continued all stage. 

And as he had accomplished all match, Thiem stepped up in the course of the largest factors of the sport, saving two set factors in his ultimate service recreation to take the second set to a tie break. 

As was changing into clear, each gamers struggled to be separated within the tie break. Djokovic raced right into a 4-2 lead earlier than Thiem roared again, just for Djokovic to save lots of two match factors shortly after. 

The pair continued to stop one another successful the second set, saving match factors and set factors, earlier than Djokovic clinched the set-winning level as Thiem’s backhand return might solely discover the online.

Within the all-important third set, it was extra of the identical. Each gamers held function they struggled to interrupt down each other, needing a tie break to resolve them as soon as extra. 

Djokovic serves during his match against Thiem.

Having raced right into a 4-Zero lead, Djokovic did not cease Thiem recovering to stage the tie break earlier than the Austrian finally took the lead.

Djokovic saved one match level however couldn’t save the second as Thiem superior to the ultimate.

Thiem will face both Daniil Medvedev or Rafael Nadal within the ultimate on Sunday. Medvedev and Nadal play later Saturday.

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