Thiem sit­ting pretty in semis

Scottish Daily Mail - - Tennis - MIKE DICK­SON

WIM­BLE­DON rarely gets to see the best of Do­minic Thiem but he re­served his finest ten­nis for the ATP Fi­nals last night when he scored a scin­til­lat­ing up­set against No­vak Djokovic. The Aus­trian be­came the first man through to the semi-fi­nals when he beat the world No2 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 in just over two-andthree-quar­ter hours. His bril­liant dis­play means Djokovic and Roger Fed­erer will play off to­mor­row to see who joins him for the week­end at the 02 Arena. As one of the event’s best matches of re­cent years ap­proached its cli­max, it looked as though the younger player had blown his chance,

hav­ing been cloyed by nerves as he failed to serve out the de­cider at 6-5 and then fallen 4-1 be­hind in the tiebreak. But the tally of win­ners from Thiem, who has never passed Wim­ble­don’s fourth round, hit 51 as he roared back to clinch it 7-5. Now it comes down to the sim­ple equa­tion of whether Fed­erer can avenge this year’s SW19 fi­nal loss against the Ser­bian, who has been in prime form and did lit­tle wrong last night. Ear­lier the 38-year-old Swiss had beaten world No8 Mat­teo Ber­ret­tini 7-6, 6-3 in what was ef­fec­tively a must-win match. On the ev­i­dence of this week you would fancy Djokovic to pre­vail, but he now finds him­self un­der pres­sure in the pur­suit of Rafael Nadal’s world No1 slot.

Bri­tain’s Joe Sal­is­bury and Amer­i­can part­ner Ra­jeev Ram are in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion to the more il­lus­tri­ous Fed­erer and Djokovic after re­cov­er­ing from their loss on the open­ing day to keep them­selves in the hunt for a place on Satur­day. Need­ing a win re­al­is­ti­cally to keep them­selves alive, the debu­tants came back to de­feat Ivan Dodig and Filip Po­lasek 3-6, 6-3, 10-6, in the sud­den-death ‘cham­pi­ons’ tiebreak used in the dou­bles com­pe­ti­tion. They will most likely need a win to­mor­row against second seeds Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Brazil­ian Marcelo Melo to sus­tain a home pres­ence into

the last cou­ple of days.

Dom jolly: Thiem lets his vic­tory over No­vak Djokovic sink in

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