Thiem Stuns Federer At ATP Finals, Djokovic Rolls; Nadal Gets Ab Test Monday
by Staff | November 10th, 2019, 10:48 pm

Roger Federer suffered a shock opening loss at the ATP Finals falling to Dominic Thiem 7-5, 7-5.

The Austrian had four wins in six tries over Federer entering, but playing indoors at an event Federer’s won six times while Thiem’s never made the semifinals, gave the edge to the Swiss.

Thiem broke Federer for a 2-0 lead only to give it back a few games later. Then broke again at 5-all and again at the same point in the second set.

“To beat him, everything has to fit together,” said Thiem. “Today, I think was the case again. I played very well. I played a good match in general. Serving, returning well, which is probably the two most important things indoors. Then, probably, also the last game was crucial. I don’t even want to think about what happens if he wins that game and comes back to a tie-break. So I’m very happy that I pulled that through at 6-5.

“In general, it’s a very nice victory for me. I mean, every time I play against him is a big honor. Beating him is even better, and especially on this surface indoors, where he’s feeling well usually.”

Federer will now has Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday, than Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

“I thought he played well,” said Federer who falls to 12-5 in opening matches at the ATP Finals. “I mean, the start definitely didn’t help. That put me on the back foot a little bit. But I recovered well, and I thought after that the match was actually pretty even for a long period of time. I had my chances, I felt. I didn’t feel like I was outplayed or anything. Just maybe that first-round hiccups a little bit, not hitting your spots on the serve when you need to, getting into trouble early in the service games which maybe doesn’t happen later on in the tournament.

“I thought also Dominic saved himself real well when he had to, so I thought he played a tough first-round performance today, and my game was probably just not good enough, and the start didn’t help.”

Thiem will now meet tournament favorite Novak Djokovic on Tuesday in a battle of two 5-time champions on the year.

Djokovic crushed newbie Berrettini in his round-robin opener 6-2, 6-1 in just 64 minutes.

“No other reasonable explanation than trying to play as perfect as possible,” Djokovic said. “Everyone is different. Throughout my career, I always intended and always tried to perfect my game and, in the midst of a battle and heat of the moment, sometimes you just get frustrated with certain things regardless of the results.

“Sometimes I really don’t mind the results as much as I care about the execution of certain shots or tactics or whatever it is. That’s all it is.”

Tomorrow, the Andre Agassi Group takes center stage with Rafael Nadal duels defending champion Alexander Zverev. Rafa leads the German 5-0 but the Spaniard comes in nursing an ab injury.

“I have good hopes to be 100 per cent ready for Monday,” Nadal said. “It’s a tournament you will face the top guys since the beginning, so you need to be 100% ready.”

Daniil Medvedev meets Stefanos Tsitsipas in a good battle of two first-timers at the event. Medvedev also holds a commanding 5-0 lead in that match-up.

Centre Court Starts At 12:00 Noon
RR 3 Kevin Krawietz-Andreas Mies v 6 Jean-Julien Rojer-Horia Tecau
Not Before 2:00 Pm
RR 4 Daniil Medvedev v 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas
Not Before 6:00 Pm
RR 1 Juan Sebastian Cabal-Robert Farah v 7 Pierre-Hugues Herbert-Nicolas Mahut
Not Before 8:00 Pm
RR 1 Rafael Nadal v 7 Alexander Zverev

You Might Like:
Djokovic Overcomes Slow Start, Raonic Rolls; Murray Opens Play Monday At ATP Finals
Thiem Sends French Warning Shot with Nice Title
Wildcard Londero Stuns Cordoba Field For First Title
Rain Pushes Both ATP Grasscourt Finals to Monday
ATP Finals 8-Man Field Is Set: Dominic Thiem Takes Last Spot, Novak Djokovic Lone Former Champion

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

20 Comments for Thiem Stuns Federer At ATP Finals, Djokovic Rolls; Nadal Gets Ab Test Monday

Andy Mira Says:

Vamos Rafa!!

Andy Mira Says:

Bout Fed…Hate to c him lose…Wish him all the best for his next matches…

the_mind_reels Says:

I thought Thiem played reasonably well — definitely much better than his performance here last year against Fed — but Fed definitely lost the match rather than the other way around. He missed *so* many routine forehands and dumped a number of fairly routine volleys on points that could have changed the outcome.

If there’s a positive Federer can take from the match, it’s that I don’t think he can play too much worse than this. The problem is that he’ll need a top-drawer performance against Djokovic just to keep himself in the tournament (assuming he beats Berrettini tomorrow).

I have tickets for Wednesday evening. Hoping to see Tsitsipas v. Nadal!

RZ Says:

Thiem now has a 5-2 record against Fed, with 3 of those wins coming this year. Assuming Thiem can win over Berretini, he could make the semis here.

Dave Says:

I think Medvedev learned a lesson for next year. Don’t overplay at certain times of the year. He will balance his schedule better next year I’m sure. Now he isn’t match ready. 2 matches in a row where he hasn’t looked as sharp as before.

Daniel Says:

Indeed RZ,
Thiem now beacomes a “problem” for Federer.
The Djoko x Federer may be interesting. It most likelly will be final match on Thursday and depending on what happens in the other group Djoko can manipulate his position in order to face Nadal in semis and liquidate his #1 prospects. It could be a 3 players tie, assuming all beat Berretini and Djoko beats Thiem.

RZ Says:

@Daniel – and the fact that Thiem won over Federer in straight sets may make all the difference. (Though I have the feeling that Berretini won’t go down as easily against Thiem and Fed as he did against Djokovic)

Dave Says:


I totally agree. Thiem doesn’t match up the best against Berrettini. He struggles to get on the front foot. Berrettini beat Thiem in straight sets in Shanghai and it went to a deciding set in Vienna. So he has never beaten him convincingly. And Federer doesn’t return as aggressively as Djokovic or hit with the same consistent depth so Berrettini will be able to hold serve more than the first match.

Dave Says:


I have a question. If a player retires during the match does the alternate sub in at that point of the match? The reason why I ask is because they are counting sets and games won to determine who would win the tie breaks.

Van Persie Says:

1st win over Rafa for Sascha. Rafa was rusty but Zverev played also terrific tennis tonight.

Daniel Says:

No Dave. Basically the alternate is f$&@&

Starts aligning for Djoko’s #1, history and Goat in the making for 2020. With this loss now the #1 year end is on his racquet: win tournament without losing a match and its his, regardless if Nadal reaches finals or not.

Also if Nadal loses to Medvedev and Tsisi beats Zverev, Nadal elimanated and can’t reach semis. If Nadal retires or loses all match Djoko can even lose to Federer and lose finals that he still gets #1 (800 pts to Nadal’s 0, overcoming the 640 pts gap).

Djoko in a pretty confortable position now but he has to beat Thiem (preferably in 2) to secure his place.

Wog Boy Says:

Rafa will pull out. In Paris he made sure the difference is over 600 points so Nole had to make final regardless of Rafa’s results. We have to see if calculations will backfire.
He did the same in 2017 in Paris, played two rounds in Paris to make sure 38 years old can’t catch him and then pulled out of Paris and after Goffin loss out of London.

Wog Boy Says:

Just checked stats, cannot believe Rafa didn’t have one single BP, when was the last time that happened?
Was Zverev that good or Rafa was bad?

chrisford Says:

I was hoping to see Djokovic play Fed and Nadal, but their position is precarious now. But if next round, Fed and Rafa prevail and Novak loses, all 3 would be 1-1. (Obviously!!)
Next match is critical for all three.
Fed should win, Nadal a question mark, and Thiem showed at the USO last year he can be as formidable on hardcourt as he is on clay, so a tough, critical match happens tomorrow for Djokovic in his quest to make the Final and win it.

Dave Says:


Sorry I wasn’t more clear on what I meant. I will give you an example. Let’s say that Djokovic was leading Thiem 3-1 in the first set and than Thiem retired from the match. Djokovic would win the match 3 games to 1 but win zero sets? or would the alternate sub in at 3-1? That’s the part I’m confused about.

Dave Says:


Zverev was playing and serving like he did against Djokovic in the final last year. He was hitting aces in the 140’s. He missed a serve out wide that clocked in at 147 mph. He was hitting his forehand amazing with so much aggression.

Wog Boy Says:

Thanks Dave, so the best thing Zverev did was to get rid of Lendl, he played his worst tennis under Lendl, since he got rid of him he is different player, full of confidence.

Wog Boy Says:

I listened Nole’s interview for Serbian sport TV after Berrettini match, he was asked that some players are claiming that this year court is faster than previous years.
Nole said that it’s not the court but new Dunlop balls, they are faster than old ones (particularly new balls) with lower bounce.
If that’s the case Thiem win is even more impressive and Rafa’s loss is more understandable, indoor fast court with low bounce is just not Rafa’s cup of tea, never will be.

Dave Says:

Rafa never looked like he was in the match today. His forehand was off. Even if Rafa played at his normal level, he just didn’t have anything to hurt Zverev. I was surprised that Federer lost considering that they used the exact same balls in Basal where Federer looked amazing.

Daniel Says:

I understood Dave, but I thought your hypothetical scenario was after at least 1 set played. I don’t believe there was ever some retirements with no 1st concluded in the history of tournament. Don’t know if they have a rule that counts as a straight 2-0 win or not. Because it can jeopardize the winner as well in a potential 3 man tie.

What I know almost 100% is there is no mid match replacement. But still have to check the rules to know for sure.

Top story: 9 Things I Think I Thought About The 2020 ATP Finals And Daniil Medvedev