Novak Djokovic versus Dominic Thiem – that is tension, wear and tear, pure thrill, especially when the meeting in the O2 arena in London increases. A year ago, the two delivered a thriller – back then in the group matches – that only ended in the tie-break of the third set (6: 7, 6: 3, 7: 6). In favor of the Austrian. At the beginning of this year the final of the Australian Open, which went 6: 4 to the Serbs in the 5th round.
And the first semi-final of this year’s season finale is in no way inferior to the previous matches. The superior start, as Djokovic had planned, does not work against the very formidable Thiem. The numbers 1 and 3 of the world rankings fight for every single point on an equal footing, rushing each other into every corner of the court. Until the 27-year-old Lichtenwörther manages the first break with the only breakball of the game shortly before the end of the sentence. He confidently served the sentence home.
Double error on match point
Round 2 shows a similar picture: The short decision is a head-to-head race. This becomes a tremendous game: Thiem awards four match balls – one even with a double fault – the Djoker in turn also needs several set balls until he can secure the 7: 6.
Then sentence 3. And how could it be otherwise, this one also runs the entire length. Without granting each other a single breakball, both serve each other again in the tie-break. The points are evenly distributed. But then everything looks as if the all-important short decision clearly goes to «Djoker». 4-0 he takes the lead! But Thiem keeps his nerves in check and turns the game around in a dramatic way. He can use his sixth match ball – not surprising that “Domi” holds his hands in front of his face in the first moment of victory.
Djokovic misses Federer’s record
By the way: with his victory he prevented the Serb from catching a Roger Federer record. Djokovic remains stuck with five ATP final titles – the Swiss remains the record winner at the tournament with six titles. “This match was so close to the limit,” says Thiem a few seconds later. He hopes that after this three-hour show he will still have gas in the tank to keep up in tomorrow’s final. Rafael Nadal (ATP 2) and Daniil Medvedev (ATP 4) are fighting for this tonight.