In the second match day of the 2020 ATP Tour finals, Dominic Thiem held his nerve to beat Rafael Nadal 7-6, 7-6 in a nail-biting encounter. The Spaniard, who is chasing a first ATP Tour Finals title, had a 5-2 lead in the first set tiebreak but could not convert.
For Thiem, the win secured qualification for the semi-final after Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom he beat on day one, got the better of Andrey Rublev, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6.
Nadal now has to beat Tsitsipas on Thursday to ensure a semi-final berth. After the loss, the world No. 2 said although he lost, he was happy with his performance.
“I think I did all the things well during the match. Just the only negative thing is that I was not able to convert some key points that made the biggest difference in the whole match,” Nadal said courtside, at the O2 Arena.
“Of course, I am sad for the loss, but at the same time happy for Dominic [Thiem] that he played a great match. I hope to have my chances. I think I am much more confident now with the level of tennis that I am playing than a couple of days ago. So, I just have the chance to keep going, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
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On Wednesday, world No. 1, Novak Djokovic will seek to book his way to the last four when he faces Daniil Medvedev, who defeated Alexander Zverev on the first day.
After his two sets victory over Medvedev on Monday, the Paris Masters winner said, “I like to play against Novak. We have tough matches, you know. I think in these conditions we have here, we can have a lot of long rallies. We are both going to run well.”
Djokovic has described Medvedev as consistent and will expect to be pushed to his best again on Wednesday.