Despite being three points away from victory, Novak Djokovic got overpowered by Dominic Thiem in the semifinals of the ATP Nitto Finals. The Serbian saved four match points in the second set and had a 4-0 lead in the third set tiebreaker. However, Thiem displayed his rock-solid mentality and won six successive points in the tiebreaker to close out the nail-biting match.
With the victory, Thiem dashed Djokovic’s hopes of winning the season-ending championships for a record sixth time. Interestingly, he defeated arch-rival, Rafael Nadal, in the group-stage match and will now face Daniil Medvedev in the final.
Recently, during a press conference, Djokovic was questioned about the moment when he realized that he could achieve great things and reach the pinnacle of the sport. World No.1 remarked that most players develop a passion for a game early in life and dream of winning the biggest Grand Slam events.
“So I was dreaming already when I was very young, you know, between five and seven years old to win Wimbledon. I mean, for me that was always a pinnacle of tennis, you know, to win the most, I guess, in my eyes, most valuable slam. But also because the first match that I ever seen on TV was Sampras finals of Wimbledon back in I think ’92,” said Djokovic.
Most exciting day of my career: Novak Djokovic
The 33-year-old won his first major championship at the 2008 Australian Open when he outlasted Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final. However, Djokovic’s lifetime dream came true when he triumphed at Wimbledon for the first time in 2011. The historic victory made Djokovic claim the top of the rankings for the first time in his career.
“But it was completely different when I actually won Wimbledon in 2011. That was the third slam I think that came for me and also clinching the No. 1 for the first time. Yeah, so that was probably the most exciting and fulfilling day of my professional career of all time,” revealed Djokovic, during a media interaction.
Over the last decade, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has established himself as one the greatest players of all time. Having clinched the year-end No.1 ranking a record sixth time, Djokovic has equaled his childhood idol, Pete Sampras.