Thiem Topples Djokovic In Thriller, Federer Wins; Nadal v Medvedev Wed At ATP Finals

by Staff | November 12th, 2019, 11:45 pm

After a stunning win in his opener over Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem did one better toppling World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a thrilling win 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5).

Thiem dropped a tight opening set, but then caught fire in the second, blasting forehand winners. And the Austrian kept it up in the third, dictating from the baseline. But at the time of asking, he failed to serve it out at 6-5, then promptly went down 4-1 in the deciding breaker.

But Djokovic, who seemed to have regaining the momentum, couldn’t finish the job as Thiem took six of the next seven points to stun the former champion.

“This was really one of these special matches, what I’ve practiced all my life for, all my childhood for,” Thiem said. “Really epic one in an amazing atmosphere, beating a legend of our game. And also I’ve qualified for the semi-finals, which is the best.

“Coming back from 1-4 was a little bit of luck, but it was an unbelievable match and one I’ll never forget. Novak is the best player in the world and I had to do something special.”

Thiem’s victory puts him at 2-0 in the event and earns him the top seed out of the Borg Group. He will meet the No. 2 from the Agassi Group in the Saturday semifinals.

Djokovic, who was the tournament favorite going in, now has a big showdown with Roger Federer on Thursday for a spot in the semifinals. And the loss also dents his No. 1 hopes.

“I thought he deserved to win. He just played very courageous tennis and just smacking the ball. He went for broke,” Djokovic said. “The entire match he played same way he played the last point. I have to put my hat down and congratulate him, because he just played a great match.

“I’m still in the tournament. We go head-to-head with Roger. Winner goes to semis. Loser doesn’t qualify. As simple as that.”

Earlier, Federer won a tough first set before pulling away in the second to beat Matteo Berrettini 7-6(2), 6-3.

”It’s unusual to lose and then come back to play again, but I did it last year, so I have some experience,” said Federer who is now 17-0 in second matches at the ATP Finals. “I’m very happy with how I played today. Matteo was always going to be difficult with his big serve.

“I was pretty clean in my own service games and I think that helped today. I hope I can keep it up and maybe even play a bit better in the next match.”

On tap Wednesday, the Agassi Group resumes with Rafael Nadal taking on Daniil Medvedev in a virtual elimination match. Nadal has won both meetings with the Russian including that US Open final epic.

“I’m struggling a little bit with finding back my level I had in the USA and Shanghai and St. Petersburg, which is, I think normal for any sportsman,” said Medvedev. “And that’s what is amazing about the top three, Big Three and Murray before, that even when you kind of look at them and you think, ‘Okay, they are not playing as good as they can’, they still win these matches.”

And then Stefanos Tsitsipas battles Alexander Zverev. The Greek leads 3-1 in that series including two this year. The winner likely gets a semifinal spot.

“Both fantastic matches. Especially I think in Beijing it was very, very close and could have gone both ways, even though it was two sets,” Zverev said. “It’s going to be interesting. He played a fantastic match, I thought, especially for the first time playing here. It’s never easy. I’m looking forward to it.”

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

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Nadal, Thiem Serve Notice On First Day At ATP Finals; Zverev v Medvedev Mon.

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38 Comments for Thiem Topples Djokovic In Thriller, Federer Wins; Nadal v Medvedev Wed At ATP Finals

Wog Boy Says:

“… toppling World No. 1 Novak Djokovic..”

Wog Boy Says:

“… just smacking the ball. He went for broke,” Djokovic said.”
You are repeating yourself, you said the same for Agut, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, you should look at yourself, you cannot win three set match against quality player.

Do you know whay Austrian was smacking the ball relentlessly?
Well, his breakfast is bacon, Kransky and eggs, lunch is 1kg roasted pork knuckles, mash potato and sauerkraut, finishing with light dinner, Austrian goulash soup. He can smack the ball all day long.
At the same time you are having your meals on the green pastures, see the difference??!!

Milos Says:

Wog Boy, I bet you know so much about proper diet that you are probably obese or at least heavily overweight… As I recall you are a fan of Djokovic – that is when he is winning, but as soon as one loss creeps – your support vanishes.

j-kath Says:

Milos – In the many years when Andy Murray was normally always within the top 4 players, I was a dedicated fan but was also his toughest critic……a bit like a parent chastising a child – a bit like Wogboy?

Wog Boy Says:

Firstly, I bet you are full of sh$t.

Secondly, it’s none of your business how I support Nole, so “одјеби”!

Thirdly, madmax said hello to you, you sound the same.

In a future ignore my post and I won’t retaliate.

There is no fourthly…..this time.

Wog Boy Says:

Thanks, I cannot add anything to what you said, you know me.
I apologise for my not so academic language in my reply to Milos.

Wog Boy Says:

Actually there is fourthly,

Check opinionions about Nole’s diet and else from other staunch Nole fans here (just on the other thread), Django, CF1, Czarlazar, partly VP and few more and have a go at them too, why pick on me?
You will also find that you are actually in minority.

tylecuocbong Says:

I hope the winner will be RF

Giles Says:

I had to laugh at post at 3am. Probably true. 😊

Milos Says:

Wog Boy, so are you obese or not? :P Anyway I was just trying to point out that people in general should have a little more faith in what number 1 (or 2) in the world knows about tennis, diet, etc. You cant become number 1 in anything by luck, there is a tremendous amount of knowledge, work and good life choices behind that. The arrogance to give advice about something you are probably doing completely wrong is staggering. So again, what is your diet, and are you obese? :P

On a side note, no need to bring out the heavy artillery of words :-)

Alison Hodge Says:

I Would still say that Novak is the favourite against Federer, that was the narrowest of defeats, with only small margins ….

Dave Says:


I watched the match. Nole never got tired. It had nothing to do with that. Thiem absolutely pulled a Wawrinka on fire when he has beaten Nole in the majors. Simple as that. He just ripped winners every chance he got. So many backhands down the line like Stan did on fire. He crushed so many forehands as well. That was literally the best match Thiem ever played. He said it himself. The only thing that I didn’t like from Nole, which has always been a problem is that he needs to be able to turn on the aggression sometimes and dictate more and he admitted that himself in the tiebreak. AS he gets older he will need to do that more.

RZ Says:

I’m glad that Thiem has had some clutch wins this year, especially as he’s had some heartbreaking losses at slams in the past couple of years. I was worried that he was going to become the guy who couldn’t win when things got tight but he seems to be turning that around. Massu has been an excellent addition to his coaching team.

Daniel Says:

Jeez. Medvedev had a BP to go up 5-0 and serve for a bagle. Didn’t convert. Than MP BP on 1-5 Nadal serving. Didn’t convert. Now Nadal held, break and held winning 10 of the last 12 points.

Medvedev will serve the match again 5-4 but with nerves creeping in and a bunch of FH errors. He better gets his act together and close it out.

Daniel Says:

What a choke! Match that can secure #1 for Nadal. Because had he lost and Tisis won he would be out of semis with only chance to add 200 pts if he beats Tsisi. Now can even qualify 1st.

Daniel Says:

One of the ugliest chokes I´ve seen in a long time.

From 4-0 BP to go up 5-0 and serve a bagle to losing after 5-1 and MP again.

Feels like Medvedev will never beat Nadal after this. If he is ever in a winning position agaisnt him this match plus USO will comes up.awful display.

Now if Tsisi beats Zevrev in 3, Nadal beats Tsisi and Zevrev beats Medvedev Nadal can qualify 1st.

At leats in this scneario Nadal (and if Djoko beats Fed tomorrow) they play for a potential #Year End on the line. Djoko will need to beat Nadal in semis and whoever is in finals.

Giles Says:

Match of the tournament. What a fighter, brave heart.
Vamos Champ!

Andy Mira Says:

Alhamdulillah!…Rafa won!..woohooo!!

Daniel Says:

Now for Djoko just reaching finals won’t do it anymore. Had Nadal lost all 3 matches, with Djoko’s loss to Thiem he could secure #1 beating Fed tomorrow (more 200 pts) and reaching finals (more 400 pts) for a total of 800 pts.
Now, even if Nadal loses to Tsisi and doesn’t qualify Djoko needs to win the title to add more than current 640 pts difference for him to surpass Nadal.

But, if Djoko loses tomorrow, any #1 drama will vanish.

Djoko now have to bascially win the tournament, next 3 matches and see how things unfold in other group if Nadal qualifies second, because his way they won’t polay semis and Djoko will need help from Thiem to beat Nadal in semis.

Unless Tsisi wins all matches, and Medveded beats Zverev. This way there is a 3 way tie with 1-2 victories for Nadal, Zverev and Medvedev, coming down to sets average, than games.
In this case, Nadal may still qualify 2nd wiht just 200 pts in round robin, so even if Nadal beats Thiem in semis, he will reach finals with just 600 pts. Djoko beating him in finals adds 1300 pts surpassing him for #1 ranking by juts 60 pts.

SG1 Says:

Thiem has to be a serious threat to pick up a major next year. His game is translating well to faster surfaces.

chofer Says:

Two excellent matches in a row.

I still think yesterday’s was a bit hair better. More winners/errors ratio. Thiem took it from Nole. Medvedev blinked on second tie-break. Asort of anticlimax, unless your a Rafa fan (I’m not but I wanted him to win)

I think he has to earn the number one. I also think it would be karmic justice if he does. Because the so-called Big Three would end with 5 years at number one apiece. With it’s just right with me. A three way tie.

I also think THIS is the year the rest of the field catches up and challenges next year for Slams. Zverev couldn’t do it. But Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Thiem are already knocking on the door if the German falters again.

I also think this could be the second year in a row none of the Big Three will win it all.
I hope this carries along to the Australian Open.
Tennis needs the youngsters challenging NOW before they retired.

The Laver Cup and Next Gen Masters are excellent ideas, too. Laver Cup because the older are practically coaching their current competition. It’s a double edge sword for they become familiar with their idols’ games in a relaxed environment but also put them out of their pedestals.

But that’s how things should work. They need to know they could do it best of five.
It’s a mental thing, not a question of stamina. How come someone as strong as Thiem can’t outlast a 5 set battle. Zverev’s when firing his serve gets him out of trouble. Tsitsipas received a valuable lesson with Wawrinka at Roland Garros. Now, he should be prepared for these marathons. Mentally prepared, I mean.
I don’t see any physical impediments in all the challengers to succeed at Slams. It’s all mental.
I hast to happen somewhere and sooner than later.

vk Says:

“One of the ugliest chokes I´ve seen in a long time” since mid july to be precise

Daniel Says:

That was an impressive win for Nadal. There were parts in third set he was totally out of play with no confidence. Suddenly Medeved serve start declining and he took his chance and improve his game. Tiebreak was flawless not giving a single point to Medvevd who basically just aced his points.

Daniel Says:

Vk. But that was just a bad game. Fed never had that comanding lead Medveded had today. To me choke is like these: when you are in total control of the match and colapse.

Federer also served second and held 5 more serves after those MPs to still force breaker. Completely different than today. Today is a classic “FedExpress choke”😜

Daniel Says:

Yeah Giles, it takes 2 to tango. Had Nadal not see his chance, cut errors and improve his game and serve the comeback wouldn’t happen at all.

chofer Says:

Nadal is one who needs to practice A LOT in any surface to feel confident.
Nevermind a slick surface where he can’t hit the ball at his shoelaces with top-spin (which happens when he’s decided to moce forward a few feets) or stay way back when the ball bounces so low he can’t generate any pace with it.
The result it’s him being wrong-footed time and again and hitting desperate slices. It’s odd seeing him not making foot indoors. Oddfor his calibre and acumen.
He should see how Thiem has resolved this riddle, which is NOT AVODING indoors as much as Rafa has done all his career and practicing a kick serve, which comes naturally to Thiem and Rafa doesn’t have.

Easy to say, I know. At this stage of his career is difficult seeing him working on a surface he rarely put a foot on the past. He missed plenty of indoor playing by either having injuries or self-decision.

That’s why he seems out of water here. It’s not natural for his grip and footwork. It would help he has Thiem’s serve. He doesn’t.
At least Massú has convinced the Austrian he had to change his extreme grip on the BH side and use his serve to play the net (Thiem’s kick have you receiving the ball 10 feet behind; it bounces too high and out to block it out) That’s how he has time to approach the net on second ball.
Rafa necer had that luxury to work on.
In a sense, all these years away from this surface has costed him. He’s coming to the net more and that’s fine.
But I think it’s too late into his career for those kind of adjustments on his game. He needs to win with what he has now.
I’m relieved Thiem adressed this problem even at 26.
But if he’s going to keep challenging on faster surfaces, he needs to cut short playing a full schedule on clay and taking care of the indoor season more.
It’ll help him on grass, too.

RZ Says:

@Chofer – if my memory is correct, the last 3 years have had WTF winners outside of the Big 3. 2016 was Andy (finally!), 2017 was Dmitrov, and 2018 was Zverev. So actually it could be the 4th year in a row that none of the Big 3 win the WTF.

j-kath Says:

So many different views – who the heck really knows who should have won and who shouldn’t have won. What sticks with me is that the older bunch know how to and when to dig deep – good Lord look at Rafa today and his never say die attitude and experience! Well done and add my grin and hurrahs to his fans Andi-Mira, Okie, Giles and “Alison” (not sure which name she is posting under these days).

Wog Boy Says:

Congratulations to Nadal, that’s how you do it.

Dave, I disagree, and I respect your opinions very much.
We are not talking about one match disappointment but about pattern in this Nole’s game.
Player with a best record after wining first set is now losing 5 matches in one season after he has won first set, Doha, Miami, Cincinnati, Shanghai, London!
That’s not accidentally, that’s pattern now, alarm bells are already worn out.
Did you ask yourself why everybody is always playing their best against Nole, but not against other two? Because he is inviting them to do so with his behaviour. Have you ever had a friend who invites troubles wherever he goes, I had (still have), that’s Nole of latest.
His interviews are so repetitive that I don’t read them anymore. After AO he was fooling around and it showed in IW, Miami and Monte Carlo. Wimbledon was lucky draw and mighty choke in the final.
After Wimbledon he did the same, fooling around, and it showed in Cincinnati and USO, I didn’t buy his shoulder injury, he simply wasn’t ready.
The problem is, I wouldn’t criticise him if he is private person, in that case it’s nobody’s business what he is doing and his life philosophy or diet, but he is not private person, he has responsibilities towards army of his fans as long as he plays.
Going to jungles of Dominican Republic and Maldives to search for enlightenment is load of crap, I am old enough to remember rush to India by Europeans (my good friends too) to search for enlightenment just to became bigger junkies, being robbed, raped, killed and on return to be complete mental wrecks, never to recover.
When you disconnect yourself from your roots there is no proper feeding for your brain and body, Djokovic family did exactly that.

Wog Boy Says:

Just to clarify shoulder injury at USO, after visiting specialist in Switzerland he was told, by his own admission, that shoulder is fine, but he needs to strengthen shoulder muscles and tendons, I wonder why his shoulder muscles are not strong enough for the a professional athlete demands, any hint?

chofer Says:

That’s correct.As for Andy that wasn’t a surprise. He’s been a long time coming and was the best player tha last half 0f 2016 and ended number one.
Dimitrov is the odd man out here.

Sasha is so off*on. When serve it’s not working he’s got tentative and the rest of the shots goes off. For such a long winspan he’s got too defensive. He’s like Murray without the movement or creativity, tactical acumen but more firepower. But firepower from 3 feet behind the baseline can be useless. He miss big time. He’s unstable.

chofer Says:

Rafa can secure number one by winning against Stefanos.

Not far-off imo. I don’t see Tsitsi losing against this Zverev today. He’s already in the semis.

Andy Mira Says:

Thanks JK!👍👋😚

Daniel Says:

No chofer. If Nadal wins he is not even guarantee to make semis as both Tisis and Zevrev can finish with better seta ratio than hin in a 3 way tie. And Djoko can still win the whole thing and win 1.300 pts to Nadal’s 400 (with Tsisi win). That is 900 pts more for Djoko, surpassing the current 640 pts difference.

Okiegal Says:

@JK……..Thanks a bunch! TBH I gave up on him in the last set. Why I
did, I’ll never know. He amazed me one more time….:💪💪
When it was over? I gave a big sigh of relief and smiled.

Raj Says:

Poor Nadal, he didn’t have the brainer next to him who can advise what to do.. With his ppor grip, he won 5 hardcourt slams..

Alison Hodge Says:

J-Kath thanks, seldom post anymore, on the rare occasion i do, i just prefer to go by my proper name with one ” L “, im quite funny like Wogboy about names especially mine been spelt correctly
Anyway yeah not sure if it was Meddy whos level dipped, or Rafa that upped his, but as a fan of his i dont care, he got the ” W ” thats what matters to me ….

BTW Peace and an early ” Happy birthday ” if im not around hun ….

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