Thiem 'in the zone' during unforgettable Djokovic win

13 Novembre, 2019, 14:35 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Roger Federer 'At my age one injury can ruin it all'

Now, if Nadal was serving much better and around his year-long numbers (79% first serve service points won, 59% second serve points won, 71% combined) but was either losing or level midway through set one, taking him at an odds-against price can be considered as a potential value spot. "It was a real classic and epic match which will happen from time to time at these big tournaments". He was playing unbelievable points; I was playing awesome points. "Yeah, I'm happy to play him again next time, but I know it's going to be tougher every time I'll play him".

Roger Federer kept alive his hopes of a seventh ATP Finals crown on Tuesday, beating Italian debutant Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 at London's O2 Arena.

The six-time victor, beaten in his opening round-robin match by Dominic Thiem, needed a victory over eighth-ranked Italian Berrettini to keep alive his hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

Federer also has the added incentive of avenging that Wimbledon defeat, when the Swiss star missed two match points before losing 13-12 (3) in the deciding set. Actually, it's good for me to play him again, and maybe that all helps to get a chance to get him back or whatever it is. So naturally it's maybe a little bit more complicated to handle the return situation, so he got a bit more free points today, especially that first set I thought in particular, which at Wimbledon I felt it was pretty slow. We'll find out, but I think it's all flushed away from my side.

"A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then". Djokovic must reach at least the final to overhaul Rafael Nadal and equal Pete Sampras's feat of finishing a year ranked number one on six occasions.

Thiem, for his part, has now beaten Djokovic in four of their past five meetings - although the previous three wins came on clay, his favourite surface.

Neither player managed to force another break and the set went to a tie-break, which Djokovic, a five-time ATP Finals champion, edged 7-5.

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But Thiem's aggressive shot-making started paying dividends after that, as he broke Djokovic to take a 2-0 lead in the second set and then again to start the third.

He thought he had reached match point when Thiem's rasping forehand victor was called out but the Austrian challenged and Hawkeye ruled the ball had shaved the line.

Against the flow he broke to love but Djokovic forced the tie-break, where he went 4-5 down.

The two-time French Open runner-up, who finished with 50 winners and 44 unforced errors in a match that lasted 2 hours 47 minutes, fell onto his back on the court before Djokovic gave him a thumbs-up as they shook hands at the net. "Against everybody who qualified for this tournament here, there is a special effort necessary to win", said the 26-year-old. "I was [3/0], serve, 4/1 up, 5/4, you know, maybe should have played a little more aggressive in those moments, but credit to him", Djokovic, who is a five-time ATP Finals victor, added.

The early match wasn't almost as dramatic.

The performance saw Federer hold off a gutsy opening set from the Italian before he moved through the gears in the tiebreak and completed the second set well.

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