This semifinal was one of the most exciting matches of the tournaments not for the level of play, but because of all the drama.
Dominic and Novak started the contest under extremely windy conditions and for some reasons, the Austrian was outstanding in adapting while the world no.1 was visibly struggling and definitely not in the right mental space.
Thiem won the first set very easily (6-2), but in some ways, Djokovic managed to make it even after conquering the 2nd set (6-3). However, the world no.1 looked out of sorts, and he kept on complaining with the officials about the wind asking for the match to be stopped.
Eventually, something incredible and rather controversial happened in the third set. In fact, soon after Thiem conquered a crucial break (3-1) the official stopped the match because of the rain even if … there was no rain. Actually, the sun was shining during the day.
However, the organization decided to postpone the match to Saturday to give massive help to Djokovic that was really struggling.
When the match resumed on Saturday, Djokovic was a completely different man, and he managed to make the 3rd set even (4-4), but Thiem found the way to conquer the decisive break in the 12th game (7-5).
The world no.1 conquered a strong 4-2 lead in the 3rd set, but the Austrian won the following 3 games to lead 5-4. Djokovic managed to hold and eventually he clinched the next 3 games to win the set (7-5) and bring the set to the decider.
The 5th set was yet another battle with another drama attached. After Thiem clinched a 4-1 lead, it seemed destined to cruise in the decider. Nevertheless, Djokovic saved two break points to avoid a deadly 1-5 scoreline, and the match was interrupted again for 1 hour and a half for rain.
Once again, Nole got back stronger, and he made it even (5-5) after Thiem was unable to serve out the match squandering 2 match points with 2 tentative backhands. At that point, the match became a dogfight and it was Thiem to win the encounter after converting his 4th match points.
After this encounter, the head to head between Thiem and Djokovic is 3-6 for Novak.
What Dominic Thiem said
After the match, Thiem commented
“It was an epic match. I mean, so many ups and downs and rain, going back to the locker, on court again. Somehow I had the feeling that I had the lead in the whole match, and then at the end, it got so tough. And in the end, both of us could win, and I luckily got the better in the end.”
Prediction and head to head Dominic Thiem vs. Rafael Nadal
The last time that they played, Thiem won 6-4 6-4 in the semifinal in Barcelona back in April 2019.
The pick for Tennis Tonic is Rafael Nadal that should win in 4 sets.
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Head 2 Head
Dominic Thiem in Paris
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