The two winners from Sunday’s play at the ATP Finals will face off as they seek to book their spot in the semi-finals of the event. Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem will play in the night session on Tuesday with the winner all but qualified for the last four.
Thiem delivered in the key moments to extend his head to head record over Roger Federer to 5-2. His 7-5 7-5 win has to be considered more impressive still due to Federer’s often dominant performances on indoor courts and at this one in particular. “To beat him, everything has to fit together. Today, I think was the case again. I played very well. I played a good match in general. Serving, returning well, which is probably the two most important things indoors.” said Thiem. He broke in all three games he held break points in and avoided dropping serve after facing break point serving for the match.
It was far less stressful for Djokovic, who demolished Matteo Berrettini 6-2 6-1 in just over an hour. Despite an incredible 2019 that includes two slams, the No.1 ranking is still not in his hands with the Serbian relying on Rafael Nadal to falter in London this week. “Throughout my career, I always intended and always tried to perfect my game and in the midst of a battle and heat of the moment, sometimes you just get frustrated with certain things regardless of the results,” said Djokovic afterwards. “Sometimes I really don’t mind the results as much as I care about the execution of certain shots or tactics or whatever it is.”
Thiem may take some heart from the fact he has won three of his last five against Djokovic but they all came on clay, including twice at the French Open. Djokovic does look the man to beat so far and will hope to take control of the group with victory here.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets