Dominic Thiem celebrates place in last four after stunning win over Rafael Nadal
Dominic Thiem was able to celebrate a place in the last four of the Nitto ATP Finals after a stunning win over Rafael Nadal that he rated as one of the best of his career.
At the end of a brilliant contest full of intensity and explosive shot-making, it was US Open champion Thiem who emerged a 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4) winner.
He was left waiting on the result of the evening match to see whether he would have more work to do but defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas’ 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Andrey Rublev secured his passage.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 17, 2020
Nadal and Tsitsipas will battle it out on Thursday for the second qualifying spot, while Rublev’s chances of progressing on his debut are now over.
Thiem was thrilled with his performance, saying: “It’s definitely one of the better matches I’ve played so far in my career. I think it came close to the second group match of last year against Nole (Novak Djokovic). I think we both played great tennis. Very, very small things make the difference.
“The second set I think had everything. I played probably the best game of the match to make the rebreak and then another good tie-break. It was a great match which I will remember for a long time.
“I think that today I played a little bit higher level than at the US Open. It was maybe the best match from me since the restart of the tour and that makes me super happy.”
‘Let’s just stick this match in the Hall of Fame now’ ✨
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) November 17, 2020
Tsitsipas looked like he would have a straightforward evening’s work when he wrapped up the first set against Rublev in just 19 minutes.
But the 23-year-old Russian dug deep to turn things around and recovered from 2-5 in the deciding tie-break only to double fault on his only match point.
Britain’s Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram must win their last group game to reach the semi-finals of the doubles after losing 7-6 (7-5), 6-0 to Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic.
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