Thiem and Djokovic Make Strong Starts in London
As the 2019 tennis season draws to a close, the stakes become even higher in the final battle for the world’s top-ranking spots. Thiem, Medvedev and Federer are locked in a battle for World Number 3, while Nadal and Djokovic contest the race for Year End number 1. Djokovic has made a good start in his quest to regain his number 1 ranking a week after he lost it, beating a nervous Matteo Berrettini 6-2 6-1 in a dominant performance. Berrettini, who his making his debut at the World Tour Finals at the age of just 23, never looked comfortable in front of a packed crowd in the O2 arena and did not find his best tennis. Berrettini will look to keep his hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive when he faces Roger Federer on Tuesday.
Federer himself was beaten today. The 6-time World Tour Finals champion was outplayed by a stellar Dominic Thiem, who has beaten Federer 3 times this year and is undefeated against the Swiss maestro in 2019. Federer recovered from a slow start, coming back from 2-0 down in the opening set but played loose service games at 5-5 in both sets, allowing Thiem to claim the crucial break. Thiem effectively battled from the back of the court and served smartly, particularly with his kick serve to Federer’s backhand to dominate proceedings. Thiem will now face Djokovic in what will be an interesting match, considering both player’s excellent recent form.
Tomorrow will see Stefanos Tsitsipas face Daniil Medvedev and Rafa Nadal face Alexander Zverev. Medvedev holds a 5-0 head to head record against Tsitsipas and beat the Greek star in Shanghai and goes in as the heavy favourite. Zverev, who is the defending champion, will look to continue his recent promising form against a Nadal whose fitness is in doubt.
Written by Emre Saridogan