Dominic Thiem won the cracker at the ATP Finals against Rafael Nadal in two sets on Tuesday.
Because Stéfanos Tsitsipás beat Andrey Rublev later in the evening, Thiem is already certain of a place in the semi-finals.
The 27-year-old Thiem was 7-6 (7) and 7-6 (4) too strong for the seven years older Nadal.
The number three in the world decided the match in the O2 Arena after 2 hours and 26 minutes.
In the long equal first set, a tiebreak made the decision.
The number three in the world won only two points (43 to 41) more than Nadal.
In the second act, the two players were also close to each other, but Thiem got three match points in the tenth game.
Nadal worked this way, but lost in the tiebreak at the fifth match point against.
The title at the ATP Finals is still missing from Nadal's honors list.
The Spaniard was a losing finalist in 2010 and 2013 and Thiem was still close to his first overall victory at the tournament last year.
He was defeated against Tsitsipás in the final.
Rafael Nadal was tied for a long time with Dominic Thiem, but left it at the decisive moments. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Rafael Nadal was tied for a long time with Dominic Thiem, but left it at the decisive moments.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
Tsitsipás in three sets along Rublev
That Greek did Thiem a favor by beating Rublev: 6-1, 4-6 and 7-6 (6).
As a result, the Austrian is already certain of a place in the last four.
Nadal and Tsitsipás will compete on Thursday for the second semi-final ticket in group B. In group A, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev won their first match on Monday.
They will play against each other on Wednesday.