Djokovic beats Zverev, advances to semifinals at ATP Finals

Dominic Thiem after beating Novak Djokovic Playing legends is something special

It seemed to throw off Thiem, who had won three of the pair's previous four matches, including in straight sets in the semifinals in NY in September en route to his first Grand Slam trophy.

Djokovic broke Zverev to take a 2-0 lead in the first set when his opponent double-faulted on the second break point.

He had beaten Medvedev in each of their three meetings, including a memorable U.S. Open final a year ago. "I had to change and it worked really well", said Medvedev, who was 100% in group play, including a win over Djokovic. He just crushed the ball.

"I was just as tight and as nervous as before".

Despite the loss, Thiem can still reflect on a solid year in which he has reached two Slam finals, losing to Djokovic at the Australian Open before claiming his maiden major title in NY.

The 27 year-old Austrian finally came through a unusual encounter with the world number at the O2 Arena today, beating him 7-5 6-7 7-6 in almost three hours and on a sixth match point.

Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem will meet in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Finals final after seeing off Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic respectively. If I manage to play as well as I did today and show up with a high quality of tennis, I think I have a good chance to win. This time, Nadal was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. "I got so tight in the second-set tie-break because to play these legends is always going to be something special", Thiem said after the match, per the Nitto ATP Finals website. "Every time we got to play in the last three or four matches, it was some marathon, thrilling encounters".

"It felt like I was doing great shots but there was no link in my game and that was why I was losing".

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"It's going to be the last match of a very special, of a very tough year for everybody, I guess".

Medvedev had a second break in his sights at 4-1 up, yet a missed cross-court backhand gave Nadal a reprieve, and the 34-year-old hammered home a venomous serve. He was better in the important moments, I couldn't return in the important moments, I couldn't make a good shot in the important moments.

"At the end of the set I was playing a little bit better than him, and then in the 5-4 I think he played a good game and I didn't".

Thiem regrouped, though, to become only the second man with at least five victories each against the Big Three of Djokovic (5-7 career mark), Federer (5-2) and Nadal (6-9).

The 23-year-old said: "Unfortunately I lost a lot of big matches". "Anyway now we're going to have again a first-time victor, no matter what happens in the second semi-final".

"I have not talked with him about that specific case", the world No1 said of Zverev.

"Dominic is playing awesome right now".

His repeated moves to the net as the match progressed allowed him to hurry through his service games and surprise Thiem with a change of pace.

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