Dominic Thiem can hardly believe that after two matches at the ATP Finals he is already certain of the semi-finals. The Austrian started the tournament in London with a great win over Roger Federer and was surprisingly too strong for Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.
"This was, I think, my best match ever. It was a classic, an epic game. They happen every once in a while at such big tournaments," said a euphoric Thiem.
"I knew I had to reach this level in order to win. That's against everyone in this tournament. I managed to get Federer and now again. Djokovic is the best player of the moment, so I had to rise above myself and that succeeded. "
The Austrian number five in the world won against Djokovic earlier this year in the semi-finals of Roland Garros, but his victory against the Serbian in the ATP Finals feels more special to him.
"I think this is the first time I have conquered two of the 'big three' (Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal, ed.) One after the other. Making the semi-finals was my big goal, but now I want more of course. "
"This would be my best title ever"
Thiem even dares to dream of a final victory at the ATP Finals. "It would be my best title ever," said the Austrian, who has never managed to win a Grand Slam tournament.
"But I think this tournament is now almost as big as a Grand Slam, because it is very difficult to win it. You only have top ten players in front of you."
In his last group duel, Thiem faces Matteo Berrettini, who lost his first two matches and has no chance of making it to the semi-final.
Djokovic: "Thiem was phenomenal"
Number two in the world Djokovic is heavily impressed by Thiem. "I've almost never seen my opponent really approaching every ball. He was incredible and at one point literally hit every ball as hard as he could," said the Serbian.
"I know he can get to a high level, but he was just phenomenal now. I really had to fight for it and sometimes I should have played a little more aggressively, but all credit to Thiem."
Djokovic still has to work hard to reach the final four of the ATP Finals. The former number one in the world awaits a confrontation with Federer.
Stand group Björn Borg
- 1. Dominic Thiem 2-4 (4-1)
- 2. Novak Djokovic 2-2 (3-2)
- 3. Roger Federer 2-2 (2-2)
- 4. Matteo Berrettini 2-0 (0-4)