Djokovic, Nadal both fall in ATP semis
LONDON – Rafa Nadal’s dream of a first ATP Finals title and Novak Djokovic’s quest for a record-equalling sixth vanished in defeats by Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem in two seismic semi-finals on Saturday.
As the curtain comes down on London’s 12 years as host of the ATP Tour’s prestigious season-ender, it would have been fitting for Nadal and Djokovic to face off for the 57th time in their glittering careers.
But times are a changing, or so it seems, and Medvedev and Thiem had not read the script.
Nadal, seeking the one major pot missing from his vast collection of silverware, must have seen the door creaking open when Thiem produced a staggering fightback to beat Djokovic 7-5, 6-7(10), 7-6(5) in a classic contest lasting almost three hours.
He beat Medvedev in each of their three meetings, including a memorable U.S. Open final last year.
It seemed like he had exhausted the wily Russian’s box of tricks when he served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but Medvedev, 10 years his junior at 24, stormed back to win 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3.
Whatever happens on Sunday it will mean a fifth consecutive first-time winner of the tournament. (Reuters)