After overpowering Rafael Nadal in his last match, Dominic Thiem could not complete a clean sweep of his three round-robin matches at the ATP Nitto Finals. The debutant, Andrey Rublev, defeated Thiem in straight sets and ended the year on a high, having already won five ATP titles this season.
Assured of the semifinal spot after winning the opening two matches, Thiem struggled with his service games and lost the first set in just 25 minutes. Despite making efforts to get back in the second set, the World No.3 got broken by Rublev at 5-5 and eventually lost the match.
Talking about his performance in the post-match conference, Thiem admitted it was tough to maintain the high intensity after his exhausting matches against Nadal and Tsitsipas. The Austrian is eyeing his maiden title at the season-ending championships.
“It was difficult to keep the amazing intensity I had in the first two matches. Still, I wanted to win the match 100 %,“ said Thiem during the interview.
The US Open champion will face either Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev in the semifinals. Regardless of the opponent, Thiem acknowledged he will have to play with the same intensity akin to his first two matches to book his place in the finals.
With the debate around the new players’ association still raging, Thiem was asked whether he had any plans of joining the association. The 27-year-old stated he liked the ATP’s functioning and doesn’t have any reason to become part of the new association.
“I don’t feel ready now. But maybe in two or three years. I like what the ATP is doing. Generally, they are doing a great job. I don’t see a reason to join another association. But everybody can of course do what he wants.“ said Thiem.
Founded by Novak Djokovic, the goal of the ‘Professional Tennis Players Association’ is to provide the players with a self-governing structure and protect their interests.