Round two in Group Bjorn Borg was an incredible day of tennis at the quest for a place in the semi-finals opened up.
Roger Federer 7-6 6-3 Matteo Berrettini
Roger Federer has kept his hopes of qualifying alive. The former champion who is playing in his 17th tour finals saw off debutant Matteo Berrettini in what was a close followed by straight forward match for the third seed.
The first set required a tie-breaker to separate the two and from there on in there was only going to be one winner. Federer took it 7-2 against the Italian who has only won five in his career compared to the 456 of Rogers (he has played 1400 more matches)
Second set was even for a little bit but a game at 4-3 put the final nail in the Coffin for Berrettini who as he says has learnt a lot this week.
There have been a few writing him off against big players but let’s not forget this is a breakthrough year having only played 104 career matches with over 50% of them this year!
Dominic Thiem 6-7 6-3 7-6 Novak Djokovic
OMG! Where do I start?
Easily best match of the year.
The relentless defence of Djokovic and the power of Thiem was on full show on Tuesday night.
Djokovic got off to a quick start with the first break of serve after some over pressing from Thiem but at 1-3 down did a very good job to return the favour immediately levelling for 3-3.
From there on in it was a close affair between the two. The tennis was exceptional, the way Dominic Thiem painted that baseline with his groundstrokes was brave and left me gasping at how close he flirted with the lines.
A tiebreak to separate. Neck and neck and a big miss from Dominic Thiem did not put him in a good spot.
I said he flirted with the lines well he flirted a little too much pulling it just wide setting Novak up to seal an incredible first set where the former champion hit two unforced errors in the entire opening set.
Thiem hit 18 winners and 17 unforced in the first set and maybe that flirtation with the lines caught up with him…
Second set you’d expect Novak to up the gear instead it was Dominic Thiem!
I couldn’t fault the Austrian, he continued to play the same way and got the reward with an immediate break of serve and within a matter of minutes found himself 4-1 up with Novak serving to pretty much stay in the set.
It was down to Dominic Thiem and the Austrian would be the first to take us to a third set in 2019!
Quite the fascinating stat coming into the final set, Djokovic had won 7/14 deciding sets this year compared to 14/16 from Thiem…
Thiem set out his stall very quickly! An immediate break kept the momentum well and truly on his racket!
His fearless approach was fantastic to witness saving a massive three break points to keep ahead in the set.
Well, when you hit a couple of errors the one man you don’t want waiting is Djokovic and the Serb found his way back into the set!
1-3 to 4-3 with a hold to love winning 12 of the last 15 points as he edged ahead pressure now on Thiem!
Big moments, big pressure. Novak Djokovic double faulted at 5-5 0-15 and suddenly faced three break points. Just the first was needed and Dominic Thiem would serve for the match!
He couldn’t find a first serve and at 6-6 we went on to a tiebreak.
Two big missed volleys at the net from Thiem and Djokovic took a 3-0 lead…
A backhand down the line and a forehand down the line, Dominic Thiem 5-4 and back in action from 1-4!
On the second match point it was the Austrian who got the win, his first against Novak on a hard court!