Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem pipped Grand Slam veteran Rafael Nadal on Tuesday in the ATP Finals 2020. Thiem mastered the tiebreaks once again as he registered a 7-6 (7) 7-6 (4) straight-sets win over the Spaniard. With the win, the 27-year-old has now advanced to the semi-finals of the ongoing ATP Finals 2020 event.
Dominic Thiem saved two set points before converting his first set point to win the opening round. During the post-match press conference, Thiem remarked: “I try not to make many mistakes in the tiebreak.” Thiem referred to the same as taking a “page out of Novak Djokovic’s book”, considering the Serbian’s abilities to come up clutch in crunch situations.
Dominic Thiem entered the ATP Finals 2020 with a 3-5 tie-break record in the season finale. The Austrian constantly attacked Rafael Nadal’s backhand, but a key adjustment with the forehand helped him surprise the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Thiem matched Nadal shot for shot in a highly entertaining encounter, with the King of Clay describing the game as "very equal". The 27-year-old kept his calm and delivered during the key moments to seal a semi-final berth on Tuesday.
Thiem won the US Open 2020 earlier this year to claim his first-ever Grand Slam. As of now, Thiem's ATP ranking is No. 3 and he's only behind the likes of Novak Djokovic (No. 1) and Rafael Nadal (No. 2). The 27-year-old Austrian star rose to the aforementioned ranking (also his career-best) on March 2 this year.