ATP Finals 2020: Thiem stuns Nadal, Tsitsipas outclasses RublevLast updated on Nov 18, 2020, 11:57 am
Austria's Dominic Thiem secured a significant victory at the Nitto ATP Finals on Tuesday, as he humbled Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4) in London.
Later on, Thiem became the first player to qualify for the semi-finals this year when reigning champion Stefanos Tsitsipas beat seventh seed Andrey Rublev 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6).
Notably, Nadal can still make it to the semis, this year.
How did the matches pan out?
Thiem played with aggression against the world number two, with Nadal coming to the net on 20 occasions.
Even as Nadal gained a 5-2 advantage in the tie-break, Thiem saved two set points and bounced back.
In the second tie-break, Thiem won three straight points from 3-3.
On the other hand, Tsitsipas saved a match point to defeat debutant Rublev 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6).
Seventh win in nine matches against Top 10 players
With another sturdy display, Thiem claimed his seventh win in nine matches against Top 10 players (2020).
Earlier, he beat seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev to win the 2020 US Open.
Besides, he has reached the semi-finals of ATP Finals for the second straight year.
Thiem, who is undefeated with a lead of 2-0 in Group London 2020, will face Rublev in his final group encounter.
Do you know?
Thiem has been dominating the tie-breaks against Nadal
Five of the past six sets between Thiem and Nadal have resulted in tie-breaks, while the Austrian has won them all. In the Australian Open quarter-finals, earlier this year, Thiem outclassed Nadal 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (6).
History beckons for Thiem
Thiem will attempt to bag his 300th tour-level victory when he meets Rublev in his final round robin match.
The world number three has lost his past two ATP contests against the Russian, which includes a quarter-final loss at last month's Erste Bank Open.
"Came very close to that match and now the goal is to maintain that level until Thursday," said Thiem.
Nadal will lock horns with reigning champion Tsitsipas
Nadal will now face defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in his final round robin encounter on Thursday.
Notably, the Spaniard was the only player to beat the Greek at this event, last year.
Nadal has sealed his ATP Finals qualification for 16 years in a row, however, he has never won the tournament despite finishing atop the rankings five times.