In the first semi-final of the 12th edition of the Mubadala Tennis Championship, the ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas dethroned Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to set the final clash against Rafael Nadal. Novak gave his best to overcome the deficit in the second set and reach a tie break, wasting the opportunity to secure the triumph in straight sets and suffering an early break in the decider that was enough for Stefanos to move over the top.
It was an exciting encounter to watch, with many winners and attractive points on both sides that kept the crowd entertained from start to finish. Novak avoided an early setback with an ace in the first game and grabbed a break in game two following a forehand error from Tsitsipas who hit a double fault at 1-4 to suffer a break at love and push Novak further in front.
Djokovic couldn't close the set at 5-1 but there were no mistakes next time around, hitting a service winner in the ninth game for a 6-3 in 30 minutes. Tsitsipas repelled a break chance at the beginning of the second set to gather momentum, stealing the rival's serve in the next game and moving 5-1 up after forcing an error from Djokovic.
Out of sudden, the defending champion started to play much better, pulling both breaks back in games seven and nine to reach a tie break that Tsitsipas grabbed 7-4 when Djokovic netted a forehand, forcing a decider and stealing Novak's serve in the.
That gave him the upper hand on the court, missing the opportunity to break Djokovic in the next games but serving well to cross the finish line with an ace in game ten. "It was a good match, I hope everybody enjoyed it.
Congratulations to Stefanos, it was a real thriller for the season opener. I want to thank the crowd for the support, both Greek and Serbian fans who have been supporting us."