Novak Djokovic: 'I was in the driving seat, but Dominic took it away from me'

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Novak Djokovic: 'I was in the driving seat, but Dominic took it away from me'

In one of the best matches of the season, Dominic Thiem defeated Novak Djokovic in the ATP Finals semi-final 7-5, 6-7, 7-6 in two hours and 54 minutes. Thiem won four points more than Djokovic, converting one out of two break chances and fending off all three break points to cross the finish line after a thriller.

Dominic had 50 winners and 39 unforced errors, throwing everything he had at Novak and beating the five-time ATP Finals champion in the more extended exchanges to cross the finish line first and set Daniil Medvedev clash.

Djokovic saved four match points in the second set tie break, extending the encounter and opening a 4-0 advantage in the deciding the break, only to drop seven of the next eight points and propel Thiem over the finish line.

After the match, the Serb had that he did nothing wrong in those last points, finding the first serve and solid shots that were just not enough to topple the Austrian, who played every stroke at full throttle and deserved the victory.

It was their 12th meeting and the fifth victory for Dominic, who became the second player with five wins against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic after Andy Murray. They both served well in the opening set, and Djokovic was two points away from taking it at 5-4.

Thiem kept his coolness and brought that game home, secured a break at 5-5 and clinched the set with an ace down the T line in game 12. There was nothing to separate the rivals in set number two as well, with one break chance for each in games five and eight.

Thiem fended off two set points at 5-6 to reach a tie break and earned four match points that could have sent him over the top.

Novak Djokovic wasted a massive lead against Dominic Thiem in London.

Djokovic repelled them all to stay alive, stealing the breaker 12-10 for a massive boost ahead of the final set.

After drama and excitement, two great rivals started all over in set number three, serving well and reaching the decisive tie break to determine the finalist. Thiem hit a double fault in the first point and fell 3-0 down after two service winners from Djokovic.

Eager to overcome all the obstacles, Dominic came from 4-0 down and won the next five points for a remarkable recovery and a 5-4 lead following an ace. A fantastic backhand crosscourt winner brought two match points for the Austrian, converting the second to move over the top and advance into the final for the second straight season.

"It was unreal what Dominic did from 4-0 down in the deciding tie break. I made all of my first serves, but it wasn't enough to stop him, as he was crushing the ball. I thought I was in the driving seat after the opening four points, but Dominic took it away from me. He deserves the victory, going for the shots and doing everything right," Novak Djokovic said.