Thiem wins for 1st time at ATP fi­nals

● No­vak Djokovic beats Raonic with two tie breaks to grab sec­ond vic­tory

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

After go­ing through an­other sec­ond-set let­down, Do­minic Thiem put things right and gave him­self a chance to reach the semi­fi­nals at the ATP fi­nals.

The eighth-seeded Aus­trian, who is mak­ing his de­but at the sea­son-end­ing tour­na­ment, held on to beat Gael Mon­fils 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 yes­ter­day, mak­ing him 1-1 in the round robin.

In his open­ing match on Sun­day, Thiem lost to No­vak Djokovic after win­ning the first set. In the sec­ond set of that match, he was blanked 6-0.

"I tried to avoid the mis­take I did in the first match, to drop a lit­tle bit. Didn't re­ally hap­pen that good," Thiem said. "But I was try­ing to stay tough in the third set."

He got some help this time, though.

Al­though Mon­fils im­proved in the sec­ond set, win­ning all three of his break points to force a de­cider, his ser­vice game never re­ally got go­ing. In the fi­nal game of the match, the French­man gave it away with three of his five dou­ble-faults.

"It was a tough one," said Mon­fils, who is still re­cov­er­ing from a rib in­jury that forced him out of the Paris Masters at the end of last month. "I think I didn't play a great match, but I gave ev­ery­thing I had."

Be­cause of his in­jury, Mon­fils said he may pull out of his fi­nal match against Djokovic — even though he still has a slim chance of reach­ing the semi­fi­nals.

Thiem is in a bet­ter po­si­tion to qual­ify, but will need to beat Mi­los Raonic to­mor­row.

In the evening match No­vak Djokovic needed two tie breaks to beat Mi­los Raonic 7-6, 7-6, in two hours and four­teen min­utes.

This sec­ond con­sec­u­tive win for the wrold’s num­ber two, means that he al­ready made it for Satur­day’s semi fi­nals, prob­a­bly as a group win­ner.

Do­minic Thiem

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