Advertisement
Saturday, Oct 16, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

ATP Finals: Sensational Dominic Thiem Downs Rafael Nadal In London Classic

The best match of the 2020 ATP Finals to date saw Dominic Thiem edge Rafael Nadal across two tie-breaks

ATP Finals: Sensational Dominic Thiem Downs Rafael Nadal In London Classic
Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates winning his singles tennis match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at the ATP World Finals tennis tournament | AP Photo/Frank Augstein
ATP Finals: Sensational Dominic Thiem Downs Rafael Nadal In London Classic
outlookindia.com
2020-11-17T23:15:50+05:30

An all-time classic at the ATP Finals saw Dominic Thiem beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to close in on a place in the semi-finals. (More Tennis News)

The Austrian needed three tie-breaks to take a four-set victory over Nadal at the Australian Open in January and Tuesday's clash in London was similarly played on a knife-edge. 

In the end, Thiem made it three wins in his previous four meetings with the French Open champion, prevailing 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) after nearly two and a half hours of the highest quality tennis at the O2 Arena. 

Nadal enjoyed a one-sided victory over Andrey Rublev in his first match in the group, but this was more in keeping with the three-set battle Thiem had with Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

The level of serving – only 15 points were dropped behind a first serve during the opening 12 games – and the supremacy of the groundstrokes meant there were no break points prior to the first tie-break, Thiem clinching it with an inside-out forehand winner after roaring back from 2-5 down. 

There was no let-up in the standard and intensity of play early in the second either, as summed up by consecutive points in which first Nadal and then Thiem produced astonishing running forehand winners.

Thiem at last got the first break of the match to go 4-3 ahead but the US Open champion promptly surrendered that lead as Nadal refused to give in. 

An uncharacteristically loose game from the Spaniard gifted Thiem three match points, but the 20-time grand slam champion, still waiting for his first ATP Finals trophy, dug deep to keep the contest alive. 

In the second tie-break, a spectacular backhand down the line helped Thiem edge ahead 4-3 and, although Nadal saved two further match points, his sixth defeat of the year was sealed when he pushed a backhand into the tramlines. 

"I think it was a great match from the first to the last point," Thiem, who hit 37 winners to 22 unforced errors, said to Amazon Prime Sport. "I was pretty lucky to get the first set, 2-5 down in the tie-break, and against Rafa, obviously it's nice to win the first set but still I had to stay super focused. 

"I had the feeling the whole match was very high-level but I'm very happy with the way I served. Most of the time I get the first serve in, I'm into the offence. When I was in difficult situations, the serve helped me out a lot." 

Thiem will be the first player to qualify for the semi-finals if Tsitsipas defeats Rublev in the late session.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal: 25/16
Thiem: 37/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal: 2/1
Thiem: 6/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal: 1/2
Thiem: 1/5

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Kerala: Atleast 10 Missing In Kottayam As Torrential Rain Hits Hard, IAF Assistance Sought

Kerala: Atleast 10 Missing In Kottayam As Torrential Rain Hits Hard, IAF Assistance Sought

Landslides have been reported around the areas of Koottickal and Peruvanthanam, the two hilly areas falling under Kottayam and Idukki districts respectively.

'I Am A Full-Time And Hands On President': Sonia Gandhi To 'G-23' At CWC Meet

'I Am A Full-Time And Hands On President': Sonia Gandhi To 'G-23' At CWC Meet

She also asserted that every member of the party wants a revival of the Congress, but that requires unity and keeping the party's interests paramount.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: All You Need To Know

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: All You Need To Know

16 teams are competing in the tournament with 12 taking part in the second stage. The final is scheduled for November 14.

Singhu Border Lynching: BJP Says ‘Anarchists’ Behind Farmer Protests Need To Be Exposed

Singhu Border Lynching: BJP Says ‘Anarchists’ Behind Farmer Protests Need To Be Exposed

BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya said ‘anarchists behind these protests in the name of farmers need to be exposed’.

Advertisement