Competing at the ATP Finals for the first time, Andrey Rublev suffered losses against Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas, wasting a match point against the Greek. With no chances of reaching the semis, Andrey faced Dominic Thiem in the third match, eager to finish the season on a high note and chase those 200 points for a win.
The Austrian sealed the semi-fina position before this one, playing without interest in the opener before raising the level in set number two, only to suffer a 6-2, 7-5 loss and hand the triumph to the Russian. Andrey lost serve once and produced four breaks from ten opportunities, hitting 26 winners and nine unforced errors to control the scoreboard.
Rublev forced an error from Dominic in the opening game and held at 15 with an unreturned serve to open a 2-0 lead. Thiem suffered another break following a forehand down the line winner from Rublev, who forged a 4-0 advantage after 13 minutes thanks to an ace in game four.
The Austrian added his name on the scoreboard in game five, followed by another booming serve from the Russian, who clinched the opener with another fine hold at 5-2. Rublev stole Thiem's serve after landing a forehand down the line winner in the second set's third game to forge the advantage, cementing it with a service winner in the next one for a 6-2, 3-1 lead.
Thiem reduced the deficit in game five, and they both served well in the upcoming games to remain within the same distance. From 40-15 up, Andrey lost four straight points on serve in game eight, netting a forehand to bring the rival back on the scoreboard and get broken for the first time.
Andrey Rublev scored a win over Dominic Thiem at the ATP Finals.
Thiem held at 15 to move 5-4 ahead, looking good to perform a comeback and steal the set. Instead of that, Rublev brought the tenth game home in under 50 seconds and seized the fourth break chance a few minutes later when Thiem's volley landed long to serve for the triumph.
The Russian landed an ace in that 12th game to seal the deal and notch his first ATP Finals victory, leaving London with 200 points on his tally. "Despite not having chances to reach the semis, every match is important because of those 200 points you can win.
It's more than finishing runner-up in the ATP 250 final. Also, the points will stay on your tally for the entire season, and that's a massive advantage. To finish the group with 400 or 600 points, that must be important even for Thiem, and I gave my best to win the match," Andrey Rublev said.