Dominic Thiem outlasted Djokovic 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (5) on Tuesday to become the first player to advance from the group stage at the ATP Finals. Djokovic twice rallied from a break down in the third set and led 4-1 in the tiebreaker, but Thiem then won five straight points taking his total number of winners to 50 for the match before converting his second match point.
The result leaves Djokovic facing a winner-takes-all match against Roger Federer in a highly anticipated rematch of this year’s Wimbledon final to decide who will join Thiem in the semifinals.Federer beat Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (2), 6-3, which means he and Djokovic both have 1-1 records before meeting in their last round-robin match. Thiem is 2-0 after wins over Federer and Djokovic, and Berrettini is out of contention at 0-2.Federer also has the added incentive of avenging that Wimbledon defeat, when the Swiss star missed two match points before losing 13-12 (3) in the deciding set.
Federer has failed to reach the semifinals only once in his previous 16 appearances at the ATP Finals, in 2008, while Djokovic is trying to equal the Swiss star’s record of six titles.On Wednesday, Rafael Nadal faces Daniil Medvedev in a rematch of this year’s U.S. Open final, before defending champion Alexander Zverev plays Stefanos Tsitsipas.