Andrey Rublev ended his debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals on Thursday with a 6-2, 7-5 victory against Dominic Thiem.
The Russian, who was eliminated from semi-final contention on Tuesday, won 80 per cent of first-serve points (28/35) to finish his breakthrough 2020 ATP Tour campaign with a 41-10 record. Rublev has now won three consecutive matches against Thiem and leads his ATP Head2Head series against the Austrian for the first time (3-2).
Rublev recovered well from the disappointment of failing to convert match point in his second round-robin match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The seven-time ATP Tour titlist has ended Group London 2020 with one win from three matches and denied Thiem an undefeated round-robin record. Rublev also earned 200 FedEx ATP Rankings points for his victory at The O2.
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Rublev made a perfect start at The O2, as he consistently attacked Thiem’s backhand and returned with depth to race into a 4-0 lead. The Russian won 100 per cent of his first-serve points (11/11) and he took the first set by serving and volleying on his second set point.
The 23-year-old covered the court well and capitalised on Thiem forehand errors to gain an early break in the second set. After dropping his serve at 4-3, Rublev ripped forehands and capitalised on double faults to serve for the match. The World No. 8 held serve with his 11th ace of the match.
Thiem was attempting to earn his 300th tour-level win. The Austrian, who guaranteed his position as Group London 2020 winner on Tuesday, will now prepare for his semi-final encounter against Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev on Saturday. Djokovic and Zverev will meet on Friday for the runner-up spot in Group Tokyo 1970.
In the evening session, Rafael Nadal will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semi-finals. The winner will take on Group Tokyo 1970 winner Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Did You Know?
Rublev currently leads the ATP Tour this season with 41 wins and five trophies. Only World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who owns a 40-4 record and four titles this year, is within reach of those marks this week.