London (AP) – Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been eliminated – Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medwedew play for the last title of the year at the ATP Finals.
After the hard-fought semi-finals, both Austrian US Open winner Thiem and Russian number four in the world Medvedev can celebrate a premiere in London in the final on Sunday.
Medvedev confirmed his strong form on Saturday with the 3: 6, 7: 6 (7: 4), 6: 3 against Nadal, beating the world’s number two for the first time. The Spaniard served to win the game in the second set, but in the end it remained that he still missed the title at the season finale. With even more drama, Thiem previously beat the world’s number one Djokovic 7: 5, 6: 7 (10:12), 7: 6 (7: 5).
“After fighting so hard, I want to try everything to win the title,” said Thiem. For the 27-year-old, it was his 300th ATP Tour victory – and a very special one. In the tie-break of the second set, the number three in the world awarded four match points. In the tie-break of the decisive round, Thiem was 0: 4 behind, a lot spoke for Djokovic – but Thiem took the risk and made everything clear with his sixth match point. “He did everything right after 4-0, he played great”, said Djokovic, who closed the tournament for Alexander Zverev from Hamburg on Friday in the decisive group match.
Thiem is in the final of the season finale for the second time in a row. “That was definitely a mental battle,” he said after the semi-final. He was so nervous about the match balls that he had been rewarded that he was “almost completely shaking,” he confessed. “After my first major title in New York, I thought I would calm down a bit, but apparently that was a mistake,” he said. “I am incredibly happy to be ready.”
Djokovic and Thiem faced each other in the final of the Australian Open at the start of the season, in which the Serbian favorite prevailed in five sets. Djokovic remained unbeaten until the Corona was canceled. However, since the reboot, he has left an ambivalent impression with his disqualification from the US Open – and now misses a successful close.