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Nitto ATP Finals 2020: Dominic Thiem vs Andrey Rublev preview, head-to-head & prediction

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 18 Nov 2020, 13:21 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Dominic Thiem vs Andrey Rublev

Date: 19 November 2020

Tournament:Β Nitto ATP Finals 2020

Round: Round-robin stage

Venue: London, United Kingdom

Category: ATP Finals

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: $5,700,000

Match timing: Not before 2 pm GMT, 7.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony / Sony Liv

Dominic Thiem vs Andrey Rublev preview

Dominic Thiem beat Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals
Dominic Thiem beat Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals

2019 ATP Finals runner-up Dominic Thiem produced one of his best performances ever to register a 7-6(7), 7-6(4) victory over Rafael Nadal on Tuesday.

Thiem showed a lot of resilience as he overcome a 5-2 deficit in the tiebreaker and stave off two set points before winning a 72-minute first set epic. Nadal was himself playing quite well, serving and volleying at will and mixing up the play brilliantly, but the Austrian raised his level at just the right moments to grab the initiative.

In the second set Thiem continued to step in and take his groundstrokes early, pushing Nadal behind the baseline, and even held three match points with the Spaniard serving at 4-5. Although the World No. 3 squandered those chances, he played a composed tiebreaker to get the better of his Spanish opponent for this second time this year.

Thiem has already topped the group, and will now look to continue his strong run as he takes on World No. 8 Andrey Rublev in a dead rubber. The Russian qualified for the ATP Finals by winning five titles in 2020, but he has not enjoyed a great campaign in London so far.

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Rublev lost in straight sets to Nadal in his debut appearance, before succumbing in three sets to defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. The World No. 8 held a match point at 6-5 in the deciding set tiebreaker, but his inexperience at the top of the game clearly showed as he double faulted it away.

The heartbreaking loss means that Rublev has no chance of qualifying for the semifinals, so he will be playing just for pride in his last match on Thursday.

Dominic Thiem vs Andrey Rublev head-to-head

Andrey Rublev hits a backhand
Andrey Rublev hits a backhand

Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev are tied at 2-2 in their head-to-head meetings. The two locked horns recently in Vienna, where eventual champion Rublev won in straight sets.

The Austrian also lost to the Russian in the quarterfinals of the Hamburg Open two years ago.

Dominic Thiem vs Andrey Rublev prediction

Dominic Thiem serves at the ATP Finals
Dominic Thiem serves at the ATP Finals
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Dominic Thiem's aggressive baseline game has yielded good results on indoor hardcourts lately. The Austrian is playing with unreal pace and precision, especially from his forehand side, which is extremely difficult to deal with in the quick conditions.

Thiem has also shown immense improvement on his backhand slice, a shot that left Nadal guessing on the net approaches throughout their match on Tuesday.

Andrey Rublev happens to be a player in a similar mold, with powerful and accurate groundstrokes off both wings. With his impeccable footwork, the Russian is often able to get around to his inside-out forehand and keep his opponents pinned behind the baseline.

However, Thiem seems to be in the groove even defensively right now, as he showed by defusing Nadal's forehand. If Thiem can handle Rublev's forehand in a similar way, he is likely to go unbeaten in his group at the ATP Finals.

Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in straight sets.

Published 18 Nov 2020, 13:21 IST
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