Nov, 28th 2020 – Dominic Thiem became the first man to move into the last four of the ATP Finals event in London. The Austrian beat Rafael Nadal 7-6 7-6 in a high-quality match for his second victory of the season-ending event at the O2 Arena in London.
Nadal had two set points in the first-set tie-break but could not convert with Thiem eventually securing the win on his fifth match point. Thiem’s qualification was secured when Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Andrey Rublev.
Tsitsipas will play Spaniard Nadal on Thursday with the winner joining Thiem in the semi-finals, while Rublev is eliminated after two defeats from two. Thiem said, “Definitely one of the better matches I have played so far in my career.”
Nadal was on the brink of defeat when he slipped 0-40 behind serving at 4-5 after a wayward smash, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion dug himself out of a hole, saving three match points, one with a deft drop volley that clipped the tape.
Thiem who claimed a sixth win in 15 matches against Nadal said, “It was very important to get that first set because the winning percentage he has after winning the first set is incredible. It’s almost impossible to beat him after losing the first set.”