London – Perfect start for Dominic Thiem in his tennis ATP finals in London: In front of 17,500 spectators in the London O2 arena, the 26-year-old from Lower Austria defeated number 3 Swiss rider Roger Federer in the first match of the BjOrn Borg group with 7: 5.7: 5th Thiem will meet on Tuesday evening (21.00 CET / live ServusTV, Sky) on top favorite Novak Djokovic (SRB-2).
For the 16-time tournament winner from LichtenwOrth, this means a fixed 200 ATP points for a win in the BjOrn Borg group and previously $ 430,000 (€ 389,704) in prize money. Thiem put in the head-to-head with Federer already on 5: 2 victories.
The next legend is waiting
"It was a great performance, my first opening win here at the finals," Thiem said on the court. "It's always awesome and breathtaking to enter this arena, especially when it's so full. I think we had a good and close match. It is always very special to beat Roger because he is an absolute legend. "
As the two winners of the first group matches meet on Tuesday (as well as the losers), Thiem gets to deal with the next tennis legend in the second Round Robin game. Djokovic had confidently defeated Matteo Berrettini (ITA-8) in the afternoon with 6: 2.6: 1.
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Thiem has missed out on the semi-finals in three appearances, each after only one win in the group, now he has excellent cards to reach his goal semi-finals. His fifth victory over Federer was as follows: "Luckily I have a pretty good record against him and I'm trying to keep going in this head-to-head."
Two breakballs fought off
For Thiem his fourth ATP Finals started according to his taste. This year's Kitzbuhel and Vienna winner took a 2-0 lead after a break in the opening game. But Federer succeeded the rebreak to 2: 2 or 3: 2 lead. Then it was up to 5: 5 without loss of service, before Thiem with a break to 6: 5 the course for 1: 0 sentence management produced.
The second set was even more balanced, Thiem defended against a break ball in 1: 2, then everything headed for a tiebreak. But again the 16-times tournament winner Thiem managed the break at the right time against the 103-times champion Federer, that is 6: 5. Thiem managed after defending two breakballs in the twelfth game with the second match point the victory. (APA)