Rafael Nadal succumbed this Tuesday to the power and determination of Dominic Thiem, who beat the Spanish by 7-6 (7) and 7-6 (4), and is willing this year to claim the title of the ATP Finals that got away in 2019.
The Austrian, in one of his best indoor duels, inflicted a very tough mental defeat for a Nadal who had opportunities to win the first round, with two set balls, and that in the second he got to march with a break up, before saving three match points and ending up falling in the tiebreaker.
The Spanish did not realize his opportunities and leaves the second game with a victory and a defeat in his locker that They will force him to gamble his semi-final options in the final London 2020 group match against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The key to Nadal’s defeat was in the first set, which could be classified as one of the best that these two tennis players have played between them. An hour and 12 minutes of close fight for a tiebreaker with opportunities for both and that the most successful took.
Before, the road to 6-6 did not disappoint. An exchange of games at the service that wavered between the effectiveness of the serve and the fear of falling, with two tennis players who did not concede a single ‘break’ point in the entire sleeve.
Nadal managed to force an equal, while Thiem enjoyed a 15-30 with 3-3 and a 0-30 with 4-4 deactivated by the Spanish.
The equality led to a ‘tie break’ that could have fallen either way. The Spanish started badly, with a failed left, but took the next two points until committing a double fault that made it 2-2.
The mistake, far from deconcentrating Nadal, led him to take a run and climb to 5-2, with two serves, a disadvantage that Thiem solved.
The Austrian already saved a 3-5 against Tsitsipas in his debut and was ready to undertake a similar comeback.
It equaled 5, but made a compromising double fault, which put the set on a platter for Nadal. However, a setback to the net buried his options, which sank further with the loss of a second set point and with the achievement of the sleeve by Thiem, sealed with a spectacular inverted forehand.
The same blow that failed him in the second round, when he was trusted with a break point in favor of the Spanish, left the track free to unload all the energy on the inverted right and Nadal found the way to the first break in the parallel .
An inert and expired ‘break’, because Nadal did not hold the advantage and let her escape in the next game, revitalizing Thiem and handing him back the helm.
The Austrian was not able to tie it up completely. He had the victory one step away, when he forged three match points, with 0-40 in Nadal’s serve, but did not knock down the Spanish.
He left a thread of life to hold on to and Nadal pulled him with all his might. He reversed the situation and led the set to another tiebreaker, but was stopped again.
He started with a ‘mini break’, he lost it and Thiem passed him from 3-3, when a backhand ‘passing’ left Nadal stuck in the net.
The defeat leaves Nadal still with many options to advance to the semifinals, but for this he will have to face Tsitsipas next Thursday.
Thiem, who has two wins, would get into the semifinals if Tsitsipas defeats tonight Andrey Rublev.