The lights went out unexpectedly at the O2 Arena, inflicting the beginning of the match between Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals to be delayed Thursday. The already-qualified Thiem was in need of vitality, too, when play ultimately started.
The U.S. Open champion misplaced to Rublev 6-2, 7-5 in a contest that had little actual consequence for both participant, with Thiem assured of being the winner of the group after earlier victories over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal and his Russian opponent unable to qualify for the semifinals after again-to-again losses.
“It was difficult to keep that amazing intensity like I had in the first two matches,” Thiem stated. “I wanted to win the match, 100%, but the first two matches were pretty tough, pretty long.
“So with the fact I was already qualified, in the back on my mind it was difficult to keep the intensity alive.”
Thiem stated the loss to Rublev was “not painful at all.”
“I’m focused on Saturday now,” he stated.
Tsitsipas and Nadal will meet later Thursday to determine who advances together with Thiem.
Rublev performed like somebody with nothing to lose, overwhelming Thiem along with his serve and fierce groundstrokes to take the Austrian’s first two service video games and clinch the primary set in lower than 26 minutes. He dropped solely three factors on serve and had no unforced errors in that set.
The second set was a lot nearer, although Rublev was on high and serving at 4-3 when he misplaced eight straight factors to get again on serve.
Rublev regrouped, broke Thiem after a protracted subsequent recreation that includes some intense rallies, then served out the match for his first win in his debut at the season-ending event.
“It was not easy for Dommy,” stated Rublev, who has gained 5 occasions on the tour this 12 months in a breakthrough season. “I think he (was) focused on the semis. I wish him good luck — he deserves to be where he is and he deserves to win the title.”