Five-time champion Novak Djokovic finished here on Sunday ATP World Tour Finals Despite working for almost three hours, Dominic Theme won the World No. 1 award.
Djokovic saved four match points in the second set and took a 4-0 lead in the third set tie-break, but was unable to catch up with the Aussies in the semi-finals in London.
The team’s 7-5, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (5) victory is the 300th victory of his career, and the US Open champion will have a hard time winning the final. “It was on the edge,” he said. “I am just happy to be here. Whatever happens, we will win for the first time.
“It will be the last match of the year that will be very difficult for everyone. We are going to try to put on a great show.”
In a tense start, Djokovic was forced to go 0-30 four times in a row. The Austrian single-handed backhand – bigger, perhaps, than Stan Wawrinka – was clicking threateningly, and Djokovic needed extra gear to stay with him. Five times in the cycle he ran the risk of putting on extra muscle in his second service, hitting 115 mph below the D to beat the point.
The frustrated theme threw his cheat into the empty seats after the ninth game (and hit a deck for the first time in his place). Djokovic, Similar from the US Open Display of mood In a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, a smile might have forgiven.
After 40 minutes cracks appeared in the theme game, he overcame a forehand to fight through Deuce for the second time, but he scored a break point with a cracking winner in the 10th game, forcing Djokovic to hit a hard low volley. The theme went down to the middle to pick up the first set.
A romantic catch at the beginning of the second restored Djokovic’s silence, but the theme is remarkable under pressure; In US Open final in September, To the disappointment of Alexander Sverre, he went 0-2 in the fifth set tiebreak.
There was little in the second set until the fifth game. “He doesn’t look so solid in the eye,” DP Henman noted in the BBC commentary box, with Djokovic saving the gap to keep the score at 3-2. “He’s a little fragile.”
But Thimal could not nail him. Djokovic, who was engaged again, got his first break after an hour and 22 minutes, but his forehand flew an inch long and escaped the theme 4-4.
Theme, who worked 5-6, made a double mistake and scored long enough to give Djokovic two set points. He saved both, spun his service at 126 mph, and forced a tie-break after a string of awkward points.
Djokovic seemed to have inflicted endless damage while waiting for the endless service of the theme as his hovering spun in the air, but he scored four points in a row to make it 4-2 on the edge change.
Under intense pressure, he saved four match points – one of which was rewarded with a double error – and when taken to the third set, his opponent’s fear stumbled on the backhand baseline after two hours of fierce fighting.
Djokovic has won 15 of 16 tie-breaks this year, a fantastic return, and was triggered when the theme made a double mistake at the start of the second shootout. He led 4-0, but dug deeper into the theme at 5-4 with Djokovic serving. Theme advanced to his fifth and sixth game points, Djokovic saved one, but hit his final long run, which was over.