2020 Nitto ATP Finals – Dominic Thiem vs Novak Djokovic Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Dominic Thiem vs Novak Djokovic on and what time does it start? Saturday 21st November, 2020 – 14:00 (UK)

Where is Dominic Thiem vs Novak Djokovic taking place? The O2 Arena, London

What channel is Dominic Thiem vs Novak Djokovic on? BBC Two

Where can I stream Dominic Thiem vs Novak Djokovic? Amazon Prime subscribers can stream the match via Amazon Prime Video

Where can I get tickets for Dominic Thiem vs Novak Djokovic? The Nitto ATP Finals will be played without spectators

THE LOWDOWN

DOMINIC THIEM

  • Dominic Thiem fell foul of the dead rubber match against Andrey Rublev and looked flat throughout a straight-sets defeat by the Russian, who was already out of the tournament.
  • The 27-year-old can be forgiven for a drop in form after making it through to the semi-finals before anyone else at the ATP Finals with an essentially perfect performance against Rafael Nadal.
  • The world number three is through to the knockout phase of the competition for a second time in four campaigns here and also lost to Matteo Berrettini in the dead rubber last year before reaching the final.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

  • World number one Novak Djokovic was challenged throughout by Alexander Zverev in their group-deciding last match but played well to come through in straight sets.
  • The Serb is seeking a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals trophy here in London and has only lost at the semi-finals stage of the year-end event once, to Roger Federer whose record he is trying to match.
  • 33-year-old Djokovic shares a competitive 7-4 head-to-head record with Dominic Thiem, winning four of the five hard surface matches they have shared, with the Austrian taking the fifth in the round robin stage of this tournament last season.

THE PREDICTION

The semi-final draw has fallen deliciously as the two men to have felled Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal this week swap legends in the knockout phase. Dominic Thiem played as well as he has ever played to beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets on Tuesday and his next foe Djokovic lost in similar circumstances to Daniil Medvedev the following day. In perfect symmetry, Nadal and Djokovic then had to come through two young ATP Finals champions in Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev to reach the semi-finals and now must defeat each other’s demons to face off as the world number one and two in the final.

33-year-old Djokovic has a better chance, on the face of it, at reaching the finals as he plays Dominic Thiem first on Saturday. The Austrian has beaten the Serb on four previous occasions, including in last year’s group stage. However, their most recent match shares more similarities in a five-set classic Australian Open final earlier this year that Djokovic fought back from 2-1 down to win. Thiem had performed as emphatically against Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals as he did on Tuesday to beat the Spaniard and, whilst he battled until the last point in the resulting final, there was a sense that the Austrian had peaked a few days prior. It seems like a similar story here. Whilst Thiem’s dead rubber loss to Andrey Rublev appears to have little significance, he looked frustrated in that match throughout and could not force a third set in rather tetchy circumstances. If this match was happening two days after his Nadal victory, this could well be a different story, but Novak Djokovic is now battle-hardened after three matches and likely to just have that bit extra in this knockout clash. This is as close as they have ever been but the world number one’s sheer will should see him reach the finals.

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