ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Novak Djokovic masters Dominic Thiem in a thriller

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ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Novak Djokovic masters Dominic Thiem in a thriller

World no. 1 and two-time Madrid Masters 1000 champion Novak Djokovic earned a place in the 107th ATP final and the 48th at the Masters 1000 series at Caja Magica in 2019 following a thrilling 7-6, 7-6 triumph over Dominic Thiem in two hours and 22 minutes.

Playing his best tournament since the Australian Open when he claimed the 15th Major crown, Novak secured the title clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Rafael Nadal, prevailing in one of the best matches on clay that year.

The first set was excellent, with great rivals pushing each other to the limits after marvelous hitting from both wings, covering the baseline beautifully and giving the crowd something to cheer about in almost every point.

The intensity dropped slightly in set number two, but the excitement was still there, with Novak winning nine points more and prevailing when it mattered the most in both sets to cross the finish line first and book a place in the third Madrid final.

They both had more unforced errors than winners, which is entirely normal, considering the grueling pace. Djokovic had the upper hand in both the shortest and mid-range exchanges, hitting 25% of service winners and doing more damage with the first serve.

Novak Djokovic beat Dominic Thiem in two tie breaks in Madrid 2019 to reach final.

On the other hand, Thiem had his chances after creating ten break chances. He converted only three and allowed Novak to steal his serve three times from as many opportunities, losing ground in both tie breaks to miss a chance of reaching the third straight Madrid final.

The Austrian kicked off the encounter in a more reliable fashion, opening a 3-1 lead before Novak broke back at 2-3, fending off a couple of break opportunities in game nine and claiming the tie break 7-2 with a service winner after 64 minutes.

Like in the opener, Dominic had the advantage in set number two that didn't last for long, suffering a break at 15 in game seven to bring Novak in and finding himself on the verge of defeat when the Serb broke him at 5-5, serving for the match in the next game.

Fighting until the very end, Thiem broke back at love to set up a tie break and extend the set and his chances before Novak clinched five of the last six points in the breaker to seal the deal and avoid more drama and time on the court.