The Austrian surpassed the world number one by 7-5, 6-7 (10-12) and 7-6 (7-5). In the definition, it will be measured with Nadal or Medvedev.
The Austrian Dominic Thiem agreed to the definition of the London Masters of tennis when he defeated Serbian Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-7 (10-12) and 7-6 (7-5) in one of the semifinals. of the contest that is played on hard court at the O2 Arena in the British capital and distributes 5.7 million dollars in prizes.
The duel between the number one in the world ranking and the current US Open champion was from the first point a titanic battle in which the strength of the Austrian was countered by the ductility of the Serbian. The parity in the first chapter was such that they reached the 11th game without having generated break opportunities. In that game, Thiem had the only one, he made it happen thanks to a faulty volley from his rival and then closed with his serve.
For Djokovic, champion this year in Dubai, Cincinnati, Rome and the Australian Open (he beat Thiem in the final), the slope became steep, especially since his rival seemed more whole and focused in the second set. But the best player on the planet never gave up and even had two set points in the 12th game, although he could not take advantage of them, and thus the definition of the sleeve moved to the tie break.
In the tiebreaker, Thiem came back from an adverse 4-2 and had two match points: he lost the first after a great serve from Nole and double faulted in the second. Then he had two more opportunities to close the chapter, but he did not take advantage of them either and the Balkan did not forgive him: he won by 12-10 and sent the fight to the final set.
In this chapter, the action ran at full speed: in just half an hour 10 games had been consumed without a single opportunity to break. Djokovic was close in that 11th game, but at 30-30 on the scoreboard he threw a long return and screamed, as he had not done the entire match.
Undaunted, the Austrian took the match back to a tie break. But he started it the worst way, with a double fault. Djokovic achieved four consecutive points and it seemed that he had the ticket to the final in his pocket, but then came his shipwreck.
Thiem responded with a six-point streak in a row and, after one in favor of his opponent, ended up securing victory in his fifth match point. In this way, he agreed for the second time in his career to the decisive match of the Masters: last year he fell to the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Instead, Djokovic let pass for the fifth consecutive year the chance to match Roger Federer, the top winner of this tournament with six titles.
“It was a mental battle. Playing against these legends and looking for a final here is something very special. I thought after my first big title in New York, maybe I would be a little calmer, but that was a mistake I guess. I was as tight and as nervous as before, ”Thiem acknowledged after his triumph.
“He did everything right from 0-4 (in the third set tie-break). I have to take off my hat and say ‘congratulations’. In fact, I didn’t play bad at any point after 4-0. I thought about every point, I hit the ball, I didn’t push it, but he just broke it, he played very well, ”Djokovic praised his rival.
Thiem’s rival for Sunday’s match will emerge from the other semifinal, which will be played by Spanish Rafael Nadal and Russian Daniil Medvedev from 17:00.