Dominic Thiem beats Novak Djokovic in thriller to advance to ATP Finals

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The defending US Open champion produced his best tennis in the game’s biggest points, saving break points and set points to advance to Sunday’s final.

The two players were tied in the first set until Thiem got the first break of the game late in the first set, which ultimately turned out to be decisive.

The duo contested a tiebreaker in the second set, with the two struggling to hit the winning shot, before Djokovic ultimately managed to win.

In the deciding third set, once again, they couldn’t be separated, and Thiem produced a remarkable comeback to the deciding third set, dropping 4-0 to eventually win and advance to the final in London for the second year in a row.

“It was definitely a mental battle,” Thiem said afterwards.“I mean, I got so tight in the second set tiebreak, first of all because playing these legends will always be something special and playing for an ATP Finals final is also something very special. I thought after my first big title in New York I’m going to be a bit calmer but that was a mistake I guess, ”Thiem said.

“I was as tight and as nervous as before. And it was so over the edge, this game, like every game here where the best players in the world go head to head. So I’m just incredibly happy to be and just trying to get ready for tomorrow. ”

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Not much to separate them

In a cautious first set, each player kept their serve plays until very late, with their powerful serves and excellent ground plays proving too important to each other.

The tension turned out to be too much for Thiem at one point, as after losing a game to give Djokovic the advantage in the first set, he threw his racket out of the field into the stands with apparent frustration.

The decisive break came in the 11th game of the close set, as Thiem finally edged out a service match from Djokovic to bring the score to 6-5. He kept his next serve set to win the first set and move into a one-place set in the final.

Thiem throws a damaged racket at members of his team.

After the short break for the players to catch their breath and take in some nutrients, the second set started in a similar vein, with both players keeping the serve.

Djokovic, who looked stronger as the game progressed, failed to capitalize on any of the breakpoints he had created for himself, as the second set continued at all levels.

And since he had done the entire game, Thiem stepped up during the game’s biggest points, saving two set points in his last service game to bring the second set to a tie-break.

As it was becoming clear, the two players struggled to go their separate ways during the tie-break. Djokovic took a 4-2 lead before Thiem returned, but Djokovic saved two match points soon after.

The duo continued to hold back from winning the second set, saving match points and set points, before Djokovic snagged the winning point as Thiem’s ​​backhand return could only find the net.

In the third set, very important, it was more or less the same. The two held players serve as they struggle to break each other, needing a tie break to decide them once more.

Djokovic serves in his match against Thiem.

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After taking a 4-0 lead, Djokovic failed to stop Thiem from recovering to equalize the tie break before the Austrian finally took the lead.

Djokovic saved a match point but couldn’t save the second as Thiem advanced to the final.

Thiem will face Daniil Medvedev or Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday. Medvedev and Nadal will play later on Saturday.

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