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Djokovic on Thiem: “What he did from 0-4 in third-set tiebreak was unreal”

Novak Djokovic had no complaints after his hopes of a sixth ATP Finals title were taken away from him by Dominic Thiem in a thrilling three-set semi-final.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic said there was not much more he could have done after he was edged out by US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals on Saturday.

Djokovic saved four match points in the second-set tiebreak and another in the third-set tiebreak before finally going down 7-5, 6-7(10), 7-6(5) in a pulsating encounter, having led the deciding tiebreak 4-0 before Thiem roared back to reach the final for the second successive year.

“What he did from 0-4 in the third-set tiebreaker was just unreal,” Djokovic said. “I mean, I don’t think I played bad. Actually, I made both of my first serves, actually all of my first serves. 4-1, 4-2, 4-5, you know, 4-6, I made all first serves. He just crushed the ball. Everything went in from both corners, and he played couple of very short slices, you know, angles. What can you do? I mean, I was in a driver’s position at 4-Love. I thought, you know, I was very close to win it. He just took it away from me. But he deserved it, because he just went for it and everything worked.”

Thiem awaits the winner of the semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev while Djokovic will now head home to relax and begin thinking about 2021, a year in which he will look to close the gap on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the all-time list of Grand Slam titles. With 17, the Serb is three behind Federer and Nadal but will be the big favourite at the Australian Open, where he has won the title a record eight times and is the defending champion.

“It’s just disappointing to finish the season with a loss like this, but at the same time, you know, I enjoy competing. I enjoy traveling. Enjoy doing what I love,” he said. “Let’s see what 2021 brings. I’m not sure. You know, obviously Australia is around the corner in a way, but no one can enter before January so it’s going to be, you know, a bit longer pre-season I think for all of us wherever we are based. Then let’s see from there.”

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