“Whole Match Was At A Very High-Level”: Dominic Thiem After Winning Against Rafael Nadal at ATP Finals 2020

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Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem locked horns in an epic clash at the ATP Finals 2020 and it was the Austrian who held on to secure the victory. Thiem is now 2-0 in the round-robin stage thanks to a 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-4) victory against the second-best player in the World. 

“It was a great match from the first to the last point. Actually, I was pretty lucky to get the first set,” Thiem said after the win. “Whole match was at a very high-level,” he then added. 

Both athletes hardly gave each other room in the first set and commenced the match in tremendous fashion. There was no room for breakpoints as either player showcased strong service games after the other. 

The 2020 US Open champion re-iterated the fact that this tournament hosts the eight best players in the world and that intense matches like these will frequently grace the viewers.

Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem
Mandatory Credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville

“After I won the first set I had to stay super focused. All eight players are in great shape both physically and mentally. So we are gonna see a lot of close matches, a lot of tie breaks like today,” the Austrian said. 

The first set was forced into a tie-break no matter how much Thiem looked to break Nadal’s serve towards the end. The tie-break began in Nadal’s favor but Thiem outclassed him at the end. He rallied back from 2-5 and delivered a blistering forehand to close out the set. 

Dominic Thiem on the most significant element in indoor tennis 

The second set dawned in Thiem’s favor, but Nadal meticulously anchored his shots to seek vengeance. However, Thiem dominated with his huge serving games as he delivered eight aces throughout the match. 

Dominic Thiem at ATP Finals 2020
Mandatory Credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville

“Very happy with the way I serve,” exclaimed Theim. “When I was in difficult situations like in the first set tiebreak, second set, and in the end, the serve helped me out a lot, so I think it is maybe the most important stroke in indoor tennis,” he added.  

Both Thiem and Nadal served in equal percentages in the match. Their first-serve letdowns were hardly converted into double-faults as Thiem posted two DF’s compared to Nadal’s one. Thiem ferociously danced along the court and delivered his returns but he failed to capitalize during a crucial moment. 

The Austrian failed to convert three match points at 5-4 as Nadal beautifully overturned them in style. He saved the match by attempting a tweener which thankfully ended in his favor. 

The second set too went into a tie-breaker as both opponents pushed each other to the limit. It was once again a repeat of the first, as the result remained the same. But this time, the victory sealed the match for Theim after 2 hours and 25 minutes of battle.

Dominic Thiem utterly dominated proceedings against Rafael Nadal. Furthermore, this adds to his H2H record against the Spaniard, and on the other hand, the inability to deliver in indoor hard court tournaments continues for Nadal. This win will also give Thiem plenty of confidence heading into his final round-robin match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

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