Thiem edges Djokovic in semi-final thriller at ATP Finals

Ross Houston
November 22, 2020

World number four Medvedev, like his final opponent Dominic Thiem, has now beaten the world numbers one and two to reach the final in London in a complete reversal of his 0-3 debut a year ago.

Each of the sets were hotly contested, with Djokovic edging a tiebreak to level the match after the second set and Thiem booking his spot in the final by winning the decisive tiebreak in the third set.

In the other semi-final, Medvedev rallied from behind to win the second-set tie-break and then clinched the final set.

The Austrian has lifted himself into the top echelon of the men's game, reaching the Australian Open final this year, where he lost to Djokovic, before his triumph at Flushing Meadows in September.

Rafa Nadal has never won the ATP Finals and the curious wait continues after an inspired Daniil Medvedev defeated the 20-time grand slam champion on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.

Where and when the Nitto ATP Finals 2020 clash between Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem will be played?

Nadal had won all three prior meetings between the pair, including a three-set victory in the group stages of last year's ATP Finals and at the US Open final two months earlier, where Nadal prevailed in five sets. "I thought after winning the title in NY I would be more calm, but that was a mistake I guess".

"I played a bad game at 5-4, I had a big opportunity, but well played to him", Nadal said. "But I guess it wasn't developed because we just did not have the cases like this previously". "I'm incredibly happy to be through". By Nadal's standards, these were poor statistics and especially so when measuring Medvedev's 77% first serve accuracy. He just shades this battle but this final was made for the cliché "it could go either way".

Thiem broke serve at 5-5 in the first set and sealed it with an ace.

Djokovic saved a fifth match point but Thiem finally got the job done when he forced his opponent to float a defensive forehand over the baseline.

"It really was anyone's game", Djokovic said.

"It felt like I was doing great shots but there was no link in my game and that was why I was losing".

Djokovic, already assured of finishing the year ranked No. 1 for a record-tying sixth time, was trying to match Roger Federer's mark of six ATP Finals trophies. Dominic won his first slam, playing unbelievable tennis right now. Medvedev squandered a point for a 5-1 lead and paid the price as Nadal hurtled back to stand on the brink of victory. I don't know. We don't know and I don't think anyone does, not even him.

It seemed like he had exhausted the wily Russian's box of tricks when he served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but Medvedev, 10 years his junior at 24, stormed back to win 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-3.

Earlier he had told a press conference: "I sincerely wish for him that he overcomes this soon and that he can focus on his life and tennis career". And I also think he's returning better.

Other reports by iNewsToday