Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal put on a show of the highest quality in a near-empty O2 Arena as Thiem edged closer to the semi-finals with a straight sets win.
Thiem, the world No. 3 from Austria with a gorgeous one-handed backhand, has firmly established himself as the best player outside of dominant duo Nadal and Novak Djokovic – and he could even finish this season finished ranked higher than his beaten opponent.
If he beats Andrey Rublev next and goes on to win the title and Nadal is beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday, he will climb to a career-high ranking. It’d be hard to argue against him leapfrogging Nadal.
This was Thiem, the US Open champion, at his very best. He and Nadal – who was also excellent – traded blows from the back of the court, but the Austrian held his nerve better in bigger moments to secure a famous 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-4) win after two hours and 26 minutes. (Metro)