Thiem sitting pretty in semis
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