In the best year of his career,
, four days after beating
Champion of the United States Open and finalist of the Australian Open, the Austrian, number three in the world, won 7-5, 6-7 (10) and 7-6 (5), in two hours and 54 minutes.
Nothing and no one seems to be able to stop him, leaving his defeat against
when he had already qualified as the first of his group.
Neither could Djokovic, despite going 4-0 in the last tiebreaker.
The Serbian, who had survived four
in the first
, showed that he has not arrived in the best way to the outcome of this strange season.
After losing to
in last year's final, he will seek the title this Sunday (7:00 pm CET) against the winner of the match between Nadal and
There are already 12 games that Djokovic and Thiem have played.
had seven wins and had won the most recent, the Melbourne final, but Thiem has long been a source of trouble for him;
already in the first big of the season he had him close to the canvas.
The 27-year-old Austrian had won the 2019 Roland Garros semifinals and did it again months later, like this Saturday, in the tiebreaker of the third, in the group stage of the ATP Finals, in which he qualified as one of the best games of his life, comparable to the one he played this Tuesday against Nadal.
The Serbian thus took the proper precautions in a mild start to the match, where both saved their respective services without too much sweat.
Djokovic sometimes becomes a tennis player with indecipherable attitudes.
Her cyclothymia makes her go from showing an almost insulting superiority, as happened in her debut against Schwartzman, to laying down her arms with hardly any opposition, as was the case in her duel with Daniil Medvedev.
Fine at the first opportunity
It was enough for Thiem to take advantage of his only
, in the eleventh game, to take the first set and arouse doubts in his opponent, apparently dissolved in the last
round robin match
In these hierarchies, with the best four of the moment in the semifinals, and on a surface like the indoor arena, disputes are sometimes decided in any slip or in some off-script display.
Even in the same game, Djokovic goes through different moods.
Already behind on the scoreboard, he was seen angry, unwilling to accept the challenge posed by Thiem, forceful with the serve, difficult to overflow in the melee.
The Austrian had an open door in the fifth game of the second set, which would have placed him with 3-2 and service, but his right remained in the net.
Short of energy, he wanted to rush his options and solve in two partials.
He knocked off two set balls from the Serb in the eleventh game and walked to the tiebreaker.
There he had four match balls.
They all went into limbo, one of them after committing a double fault.
It was Djokovic, at the fourth opportunity, second in the
, who showed the greatest success and equalized the match.
With the duel advanced, the Balkan began to read his opponent's serves better;
he put more remains on the court, but he lacked continuity in the game, he was not able to define in the exchanges.
Thiem was not dead.
After what has been demonstrated in this game, he goes through an almost indestructible player.
He held onto serve in a set where no break ball appeared.
The double fault did not weigh on him at the initial point of the final tiebreaker.
Not the gap opened by Djokovic.
He exposed more and penalized the Balkan's mistakes with two extraordinary winners, one from the forehand and the other from the backhand.
He went up to 12
with two new aces.
It was his afternoon.
One more in this tournament where there are no limits in sight.
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