Grigor Dimitrov holds off Dominic Thiem in his ATP Finals debut
Nov 14 2017 by Joanne Wise
He next plays Nadal's first match conqueror, Belgian David Goffin, on Wednesday before completing the pool stage against Spanish tournament reserve Pablo Carrena Busta on Friday.
Nadal ominously waved goodbye as he left the court, and confirmed his withdrawal shortly afterward. Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem are prime examples of how a player's game can include the shot as a weapon.
Both players began the encounter hitting the ball crisply from the baseline but Thiem was the first to be broken in the sixth game of the match and Dimitrov maintained the advantage to close out the opening set without facing a single break point. I feel like I played an okay match. I mean, I think there's a lot of components that are kind of coming together at some point.
"There's always a little bit of tension before every match. Also because it's your first match, and it's against a really, really good opponent, so you're very tense", Thiem said.
Facing break point at 5-5 in the second, Thiem produced a forehand victor to deny Dimitrov an opportunity to serve for the match, and then broke to love in the following game to level. However, as he attempted to the serve out the match his poise deserted him and a wayward backhand made it 5-5.
That match was a prelude to a gut-wrenching defeat in Madrid where Dimitrov squandered five match points before bowing 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9).
Consecutive double faults in the following game saw the Austrian lose serve again - this time to love.
In an error-strewn finale, it was somewhat fitting that a shot long from Thiem clinched victory for Dimitrov. "It was kind of a similar situation".