Rublev signs off from ATP Finals with win over Thiem

Filed on November 19, 2020
Russia's Andrey Rublev plays a return to Austria's Dominic Thiem. (AFP)

Thiem will shrug off the defeat and now has a day off to prepare for Saturday’s semifinal

Russian youngster Andrey Rublev signed off from his maiden ATP Finals in style by beating Dominic Thiem 6-2 7-5 on Thursday.

The aggressive 23-year-old took full advantage of a rather flat performance by Thiem who had already sealed his place in the semifinals with two wins in the London Group.

Defeats by Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas meant Rublev was playing only for pride although the $153,000 bonus for a group stage win provided a sizeable incentive.

The world number eight, who won a tour-leading five ATP titles this year, put the hammer down from the start, taking a 4-0 lead on his way to winning the opening set.

Rublev grabbed an early break in the second set but faltered at 4-3 when a netted forehand allowed Thiem to level.

But Rublev broke the Austrian world number three again at 5-5 with a thumping forehand and finished the job a game later.

He will look back on a missed opportunity having double-faulted when he held a match point against defending champion Tsitsipas in his second match.

Thiem will shrug off the defeat and now has a day off to prepare for Saturday’s semifinal when he will face either world number one Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev.

Later on Thursday Nadal faces Tsitsipas with the winner joining Thiem in the semifinals.

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