World Number five, Dominic Thiem held his first-ever hardcourt victory over the five-time ATP World Tour Finals champion, Novak Djokovic. The relentless Austrian defeated him 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5) at the O2 Arena. With this victory, Thiem conceded his first-ever consecutive victory at the year-end championships.
Novak Djokovic made a cozy hold in the opening game with two aces and a doubt fault. With a huge forehand down the line, Dominic Thiem came up with a 1-1 score. After Novak’s love hold, Dominic made a few major misses.
A double fault at 40-40 gave rise to the break point with Djokovic returning at his pace a forehand drive volley miss from the Austrian gave the Serb a 3-1 lead.
The Austrian did not hold back, Thiem earned three break points on Djokovic’s serve and instantly unleashing an incredible backhand down the line broke the second seed to love and was back on serve.
The two craftsmen of the ATP were seen in the next game. Djokovic tried his best to take the game on Thiem’s serve after earning a couple of break points with brilliant tennis but the fifth seed managed to make a hold at 3-3.
Later, the Serb hit back-to-back forehand winners into the corners and lead by 4-3. The clean game of tennis prevailed until 5-4. Novak Djokovic scared Dominic Thiem with his deep returns as he moved two points away from the set. However, the Austrian made a hold in a serve and volley style at 5-5.
With Djokovic maintaining a decent hand on first serves he won 84% of his first-serve points until 6-5. With Thiem producing a hold the tight set sailed into the tiebreaker.
Set One Tiebreaker:
The insane level of tennis heated up in the breaker and the two gentlemen released fiery strokes from all the corners. Djokovic’s backhand crosscourt passing shot left everyone in the house spellbound, and Thiem’s subsequent double-fault gave him the Serbian a 4-2 lead.
How does he do that?
With the World Number two, Djokovic committing two unforced errors in the set and unleashing winners, the five-time ATP Finals champion sealed the first set 7-6(5).
After a service hold, Dominic Thiem pulled off the early break with a crosscourt backhand winner for a 2-0 lead. Novak Djokovic already committed three unforced errors in the set. The Austrian consolidated his break at 3-0 and hit eight winners and zero unforced errors until then.
Thiem kept up his one break margin with his relentless hitting. Djokovic sprinted for a love hold at 5-3. In the next game, the Austrian earned two set points and bulldozed a forehand down the line to balance the match. With that set victory, Matteo Berrettini got knocked out of the ATP World Tour Finals 2019.
What a performance!
Thiem was on the driver’s seat in the deciding set with striking consecutive winners, the Austrian broke Djokovic in his opening service and completed two hours of play in London. The Serb had three chances to break him back as Thiem played a loose game. However, switching back to his attacking style of tennis Dominic Thiem consolidated for 2-0 lead in the decider.
The match was no longer one-sided as Thiem began to misplace his shots. With three break points in hand, the Serb got his service game back and stabilized the match and the set at 3-3.
A tense game of tennis at 5-4 as Djokovic was two points away from the match, but with Thiem playing an efficient game the match was balanced at 5-5 in the decider.
With the Serbian committing unforced errors on his serve and followed by a double fault, Dominic Thiem broke Novak Djokovic to love and progressed to serve for the match. However, with Thiem widening a backhand Djokovic broke him to 15 to set up a third-set tiebreaker.
The show is on!
Set Three Tiebreaker:
Thiem’s unforced errors and double-fault in the breaker gave Novak a 3-0 lead.
God of defensive tennis!
Recovering from his 1-4 trail in the breaker, Dominic Thiem held his first-ever hardcourt victory against Novak Djokovic.