Novak Djokovic wary of Dominic Thiem threat ahead of ATP Finals clash

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Novak Djokovic wary of Dominic Thiem threat ahead of ATP Finals clash

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was happy with the way he performed against Alexander Zverev and he also acknowledged that he has a "tremendous respect" for the German after beating him for a semifinal spot at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Djokovic, who is chasing his sixth title at The O2 Arena, needed to beat Zverev in order to make it past the Round Robin stage and he did so as he claimed a 6-3 7-4 win over the German. "I felt great. Early in the first set he had a couple of break point chances.

I managed to serve well in the important moments and contrary to the last match against Daniil, I just managed to find the right shots at the right time,” Djokovic said after the match, per the Nitto ATP Finals. “Sascha, I have tremendous respect for him.

He’s a great player, huge serve. Obviously not easy to return the 140 miles per hour first serves. Sometimes just have to pick your side, block, hope you can be in the exchanges in the rallies from the back of the court.

It was really anybody’s game, I think, for most of the match. In the tie-break I just read his approach from 4/3, served well when I needed to to close out the match”.

Djokovic shows his respect for Dominic Thiem

Djokovic and Thiem, who clashed earlier this year in a five-set Australian Open final which the Serb ultimately won, are set to meet again as the two will fight for a final spot at the Nitto ATP Finals.

"Obviously earlier in his career [Dominic] played his best on clay, but of course being one of the hardest workers on the Tour and most dedicated players, Dominic found his ‘A’ game on all other surfaces,” Djokovic said.

“His first [Grand] Slam [title] came on hard courts earlier this year in New York. I played him last year here and lost 7-6 in the third set. It was really a thrilling match. Hopefully we can have another great match, but hopefully this time with another outcome”.

Players won't be allowed to travel to Australia in December and that was a big blow for the Australian Open organizers. Earlier this year, Djokovic collected a record eighth Australian Open title. "If we play in Australia, I am hearing that we will play with at least 50 percent capacity," Djokovic claimed, per Nikolaus Fink.