Novak Djokovic will face Dominic Thiem in the group stage of the Nitto ATP Finals on Tuesday.
Both those players have opened their tournaments on a winning note. Djokovic faced Italian Matteo Berrettini in his first game. The Serb recorded a 6-2, 6-1 win with relative ease. In a clinical performance, Djokovic converted five out of his seven break points. Berrettini converted his only break point, but that was not enough. Despite having a lesser first serve percentage than his opponent, Djokovic made the most of his service. He won 75% of the points on his first serve, and the same number was 47% for Berrettini.
“I knew he would be a bit more nervous at the beginning,” he said after the game. “He has got big weapons with the serve and forehand, but I managed to play really solid throughout the whole match.”
Djokovic is in great form coming into the ATP Finals. He claimed the Paris Masters title by beating Denis Shapovalov in the final. In the entire tournament, Djokovic did not drop a single set.
Despite losing the top ranking in the world to Rafael Nadal recently, the Serb is at the top of his game. Before the Paris Masters, he claimed the Japan Open title as well. He also won a Grand Slam title this year, beating Roger Federer in a memorable Wimbledon final. Djokovic can regain the ranking from Nadal this week if he reaches the final and other results go his way.
Thiem faced Roger Federer in his first game, and his match was tougher than Djokovic’s. Despite Federer’s best efforts, Thiem won 7-5, 7-5 to gain an early advantage in the tournament. It was a close game, and he won just five more points than Federer in the entire contest. Thiem got the advantage on his second serve, as he won 70% of those points compared to just 48% per cent from Federer.
Thiem broke Federer late in the second set, and he was serving for the match. But Federer had break points to make it level, and the game was on edge. Thiem kept his nerve and converted his second match point to get the win. The Austrian has beaten the Swiss legend in each of their last three meetings. Being the fifth seed, Thiem is one of the dark horses to win at the ATP Finals.
Djokovic and Thiem have met nine times in their careers, and the former has a better record. The Serb has won six of those encounters. But Thiem has got the better of him in three of the last four matches. They faced each other at the French Open in May and Thiem claimed the win in four sets.
Novak Djokovic vs Dominic Thiem Prediction
This match will not end in straight sets either, and both players will take a set. Thiem’s backhand will be a problem for Djokovic, but he should battle through to claim the win against the Austrian.