Following his magnetic performance in Beijing, a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic will arrive in Shanghai, where he will begin his campaign in the season’s second-last Masters event against Dominic Thiem. This will serve as the first professional meeting between the pairing.
You can watch the match here: Djokovic vs Thiem Live
While the world No. 1 had been in dominant form all week in Beijing, he produced one of his best finals performances at any event when attempted to serve out a double bagel against a top-class competitor in Tomas Berdych. The beatdown was so emphatic that Berdych offered his racquet to a ball kid during one of the later points as a sign of desperation. Djokovic eventually closed out the contest 6-2, 6-2 to advance his record to 24-0 at the China Open and lift his fifth title at the event.
“I have played some great finals, had some convincing wins, some straight-set wins against top rivals. But with this kind of performance and with this domination result-wise, I mean it’s never happened.”
Austrian No. 1 Dominic Thiem rebounded from an early exit in Tokyo with a big victory over Lukas Rosol in the opening round of the tournament to set up his first-ever encounter with Djokovic. Thiem won 86% of his first service points and converted his sole break point opportunity to secure the 6-4, 7-6(3) win in 1 hour and 18 minutes.
This will mark the first professional meeting between Djokovic and Thiem and could make for some compelling tennis. However, it is likely to be a one-sided affair favouring the top seed. Djokovic comes into this event riding some significant momentum and will be looking to maintain that in his opening match in Shanghai.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets