Dominic Thiem produced a magnificent display to avoid more major misery at the hands of Rafael Nadal and reach his first Australian Open semi-final at the expense of the world number one.

Nadal had won all five grand slam encounters with Thiem - including two French Open finals - but the Austrian dumped the top seed out with a stunning 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) victory in four hours and 10 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Thiem had never reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park before this week, but will face Alexander Zverev in the last four after coming through a huge, tense battle on a warm Wednesday evening.

Top seed Nadal had disagreements with chair umpire Aurelie Tourte as his hopes of winning a 20th grand slam title were ended in a pulsating contest.

Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem reignite what is a growing rivalry with a quarter-final clash at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Thiem is shaping as the successor to Nadal's crown at Roland Garros, where he has fallen to the Spaniard in two French Open finals.

The Austrian has enjoyed some success over Nadal previously and with the courts playing slow at Melbourne Park, this appears set to be a battle.

We take a closer look at Nadal's form ahead of the quarter-final showdown.

 

Form and results

Nadal needed a strong performance to overcome the dangerous Nick Kyrgios and he delivered on Rod Laver Arena. The world number one and 19-time grand slam champion hit 64 winners and just 27 unforced errors in an impressive display. While scratchy in a second-round win over Federico Delbonis, Nadal has been relatively untroubled otherwise in Melbourne.

R1: bt Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0
R2: bt Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1
R3: bt Carreno Busta [27] 6-1 6-2 6-4
R4: bt Kyrgios [23] 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4)

Next up

His toughest test yet awaits in fifth seed Thiem, a player who has beaten Nadal in four of their 13 meetings. Incredibly, 12 of those have been on clay, a surface they both love, with the only hard-court clash proving a thriller Nadal edged in a fifth-set tie-break after almost five hours at the US Open in 2018. Thiem has been forced to battle at different times at the year's opening grand slam, but is coming off a straight-sets win over Gael Monfils. Nadal holds a 6-5 win-loss record in Australian Open quarter-finals, something which should give Thiem some hope.

Draw

If Nadal can get past Thiem, a semi-final clash against Stan Wawrinka or Alexander Zverev awaits in a seemingly favourable draw. Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer would likely follow in the final.

What he said

"It's a very tough match. He's playing well. I saw him play today against Gael. He was playing a very high level of tennis. We know each other well. He's a player that I like him a lot, the way that he works, the way that he plays, and the way that he tries his best always. It's a match that's going to be a tough one, but will be interesting. I am excited to play this quarter-final against Dominic. I know I have to be at my best to have chances. I think I am moving in the right direction. Every day I'm playing a little bit better."

Rafael Nadal survived a fourth-round test at the Australian Open, but Daniil Medvedev fell to Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne on Monday.

Nadal overcame Nick Kyrgios in a huge battle on Rod Laver Arena, reaching the quarter-finals at the year's first grand slam for the 12th time.

The man he conquered in last year's US Open final, Medvedev, fell short in a five-set thriller against Wawrinka.

Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev's impressive run continued and Dominic Thiem also advanced to the last eight.

 

NADAL GETS PAST KYRGIOS

Nadal needed three hours, 38 minutes and a fine performance to edge past Kyrgios 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).

The world number one, who has endured a frosty relationship with the Australian, hit 64 winners and made just 27 unforced errors in his win.

A visibly emotional Kyrgios warmed up for the blockbuster clash in a Kobe Bryant jersey, paying tribute after the Los Angeles Lakers great's death on Sunday.

The 23rd seed fought hard as the pair put on a show, but was left to rue costly errors in the two tie-breaks.

Nadal will face Thiem, who powered past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 in under two hours, as the Spaniard's bid to join Roger Federer on 20 grand slam titles continues.

Thiem, 26, reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the first time.

 

RESURGENT WAWRINKA OVERCOMES MEDVEDEV

Champion in Melbourne in 2014, Wawrinka produced what was the only upset of the day – at least by ranking – as he eliminated Medvedev.

The Swiss three-time grand slam champion claimed his first win in three meetings with the Russian fourth seed, winning 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.

After failing to go beyond the third round of any major in 2018, Wawrinka reached two quarters in 2019 and is into the last eight in Melbourne for the first time since 2017 – the year he underwent knee surgery.

The loss saw Medvedev fall to a 0-6 win-loss record in five-setters in his career.

"As I say, I don't like to play five sets," he told a news conference. "I get tired. Even though I'm there, I want to win it. As I say, at this moment, didn't win one in my life. We'll try better next time."

 

ZVEREV'S CLASSY RUN CONTINUES

Next up for Wawrinka is Zverev, who is yet to drop a set after impressively brushing past Russian 17th seed Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Zverev, the German seventh seed, did not face a break point on his way to the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time.

It also marked the first time Zverev has reached the quarters at a major other than the French Open, where he lost in the last eight in 2018 and 2019.

"He showed why he's a grand slam champion, beating Medvedev, coming back from two sets to one down, playing great tennis," Zverev said about Wawrinka.

"He's still one of the toughest players to play, especially here in Australia."

Nick Kyrgios emerged triumphant in a dramatic five-set clash with Karen Khachanov despite struggling with a hamstring injury, booking a highly anticipated meeting with Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

After passing up match points in the third and fourth sets, home favourite Kyrgios came out on top in the longest match of his career by beating Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) at a raucous Melbourne Arena in four hours, 26 minutes.

Top seed Nadal beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-2 6-4 in one hour, 38 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, while US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 and will face Stan Wawrinka in the last 16.

The Swiss advanced after John Isner retired while 6-4 4-1 down, with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Gael Monfils joining him in round round four.

 

CROCKED KYRGIOS CLINGS ON

Kyrgios started confidently against Khachanov and, despite taking a medical time-out at 5-2 up in the first set, managed to edge a second-set tie-break while continuing to grip at the back of his leg.

However, he was unable to repeat the trick at the second time of asking and became increasingly frustrated as the Russian wrested control of the match away from him.

Kyrgios appeared to be struggling for motivation at points and became increasingly vocal, but he hung in to take the victory to the delight of his fervent supporters.

The Australian has a strained relationship with Nadal, who he described as "salty" after their meeting at last year's Mexican Open and impersonated after being called for a time violation while serving against Gilles Simon in round two.

Asked about going up against the 19-time major champion in his on-court interview, Kyrgios said: "Whatever happened between us he's an amazing player. I'm not even thinking about that right now, I'm thinking about my legs and getting them in an ice bath and getting some food."

 

NO STOPPING NADAL

Nadal was at his imperious best against Carreno Busta, winning 87 per cent and 78 per cent of points behind his first and second serve respectively, while also smashing 41 winners – twice as many as his opponent.

"It was my best match of the tournament so far, without a doubt. Big difference between today and the previous days. I have been serving well, starting to create damage with the forehand," said Nadal.

"Every day is a different story. But, of course, it's important to make steps forward. It's clear that today I made an important one."

Asked if he likes Kyrgios, Nadal said: "I don't know. I don't know him personally, honestly, to have a clear opinion."

 

RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Rublev started 2020 with titles at the Qatar Open and Brisbane International and has continued his fine form at Melbourne Park.

The world number 16's 2-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) triumph over David Goffin was his 15th match win in succession, four of which came in the Davis Cup Finals.

Rublev had wobbles after taking big leads in both tie-breaks, but Goffin made 27 unforced errors in the last two sets to help the Russian progress to a meeting with Zverev.

Seventh seed Zverev is yet to drop a set at Melbourne Park after overcoming Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-2 6-4.

 

"IT'S A DISGRACE"

After beating qualifier Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Dominic Thiem – who overcame 29th seed Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 – Monfils refuted a report claiming excessively playing video games led to him suffering a hand injury.

"You know, as I say, it's misunderstanding with people. I say this in a funny way, to be honest, but it's a disgrace, to be honest with you, because I'm fine," Monfils told reporters in a news conference.

"I'm in the second week, playing great tennis. I think it's just someone who, I don't know, try to — you know, I played ATP Cup, was fine. I practiced here for one month. I was really fine.

"I never said I was hurt. Somehow, you know, playing PlayStation, this? Come on. And it's easy, because I think I'm a good name to make up good story like that. Now you know."

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev booked their spots in the Australian Open third round, while Alexander Zverev and Stan Wawrinka also progressed.

Nadal remained on track in his bid to win a 20th grand slam title despite wasting chances against Federico Delbonis in Melbourne on Thursday.

The seeds have been relatively untroubled in the opening rounds in Australia, and they are on a collision course heading into the end of the first week and into the second.

Medvedev, Zverev and Wawrinka were also among the winners in the top half of the draw.

 

NADAL BATTLES INTO ALL-SPANISH THIRD-ROUND CLASH

Nadal converted just three of 20 break points to overcome Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The Spanish star was wasteful before winning in two hours, 30 minutes, while he apologetically kissed a ball girl after striking her with a wayward forehand late in the victory.

Awaiting Nadal is Pablo Carreno Busta, the 27th seed having got past German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-4.

Nadal has won his previous four meetings with Carreno Busta.

 

MEDVEDEV, ZVEREV AND WAWRINKA ADVANCE

Runner-up to Nadal at last year's US Open, fourth seed Medvedev was too strong for Spain's Pedro Martinez as he won 7-5 6-1 6-3.

Another member of the 'Next Gen', Zverev got the job done against Egor Gerasimov, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5.

Zverev will meet Fernando Verdasco after the Spanish veteran upset 26th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets.

Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, was pushed hard by Andreas Seppi, but the Swiss made it 10 wins in 14 meetings with the Italian veteran, securing a 4-6 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory.

John Isner awaits Wawrinka after the American served 32 aces in a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win against Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.

Dominic Thiem (fifth seed) and David Goffin (11th) were pushed to five sets before overcoming Alex Bolt and Pierre-Hugues Herbert respectively.

 

KYRGIOS, KHACHANOV SET UP CINCINNATI REMATCH

Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov were both tested before setting up a third-round clash.

Kyrgios got past Gilles Simon 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5, while Khachanov needed four hours, 34 minutes to edge Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8).

Khachanov won his previous meeting with Kyrgios in Cincinnati last year, but it was a clash best remembered for the Australian's outburst at umpire Fergus Murphy that resulted in a 16-week suspended ban and fine.

Gael Monfils, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz were among the other seeds to win through on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal says rising stars Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas can push for grand slam glory as the old guard face up to the "brutal" reality they cannot go on forever.

Nadal admits it is an inevitability his tennis career is coming towards the end of its shelf life, and that the same applies to the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Between them, Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have amassed a startling 55 grand slam singles titles, with all three going beyond the previous record haul of 14 majors achieved by Pete Sampras that many expected would stand for decades.

Federer is 38, Nadal turns 34 next June and Djokovic will be 33 in May. It is no small wonder all three remain serious contenders for every grand slam, having already dominated men's tennis for over a decade.

There would be genuine surprise if the Australian Open men's singles final on February 2 does not feature at least one of the trio, given that aside from Stan Wawrinka's 2015 triumph they have shut out the opposition in Melbourne since 2006.

Yet Tsitsipas won the ATP Finals in November for the biggest win of the 21-year-old Greek's career, while Medvedev had a stellar 2019, particularly on hard courts over the summer, with Nadal having to dig deep to deny the Russian in a remarkable US Open final.

Asked about the 'NextGen' players, Nadal told AS: "It's normal that there's a buzz around them and it will get louder because we're getting older every day and they're getting better every day.

"Every year they're improving. I think that they can win the biggest tournaments, like Medvedev, Tsitsipas and [Dominic] Thiem did this year.

"I think that [Denis] Shapovalov is going to make a big step up this year and [Jannik] Sinner's trajectory is incredible.

"They're here to stay. We're still around but the cycle of life is brutal and at some point that's going to change, and sooner rather than later."

Nadal is surprised he remains at the top of the game, having ended the year as world number one for the fifth time.

He bought into talk early in his career that his hard-grafting playing style would not be conducive to a long stint in the game.

"To be honest, at this stage of my life I didn’t think I’d still be playing tennis," Nadal said.

"I was told because of my style I wouldn’t have a very long career. I believed what I was told, so I thought that by now I’d be retired and starting a family."

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes he is "really close" to winning a grand slam after his ATP Finals success on Sunday.

The Greek, 21, became the youngest player to win the ATP Finals since 2001 after a thrilling 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) victory over Dominic Thiem in London.

Tsitsipas, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, feels a major success is not far away, with Wimbledon a goal.

"For sure Wimbledon is the tournament that has a lot of tradition. I think most of the players if you ask would want to win Wimbledon, but for me any grand slam would be great," he told a news conference.

"I feel like my game is getting better over time. I believe I'm really close on being crowned a grand slam champion. I know these are strong words that I say but I do feel like I belong to be there.

"I'm competing against some of the best players in the world and the amount of effort and the amount of work I put [in] every day deserves to have an outcome like this."

While Tsitsipas and Thiem reached the final in London, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic won two grand slams each in 2019.

The 'Big Three' of Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer have won 55 grand slams since 2003, including the past 12, and Tsitsipas is aware of the huge challenge awaiting the next generation.

"The thing that we have, the 'Big Three' dominating in the grand slams the last couple of years makes it really difficult for us because someone needs to get the job done to defeat them [in the] early rounds because once they get deep into a tournament they tend, as we saw, over the years to get better and play better, feel better," he said.

"For me, that's a really difficult task to do, for players to be able to beat them in these grand slams because it's a best-of-five format and this gives them more chances to stay in the match.

"It's not a best of three. If things were best of three it could have been much more different when it comes to grand slam champions over the years.

"So, that's an issue because they have been sharing how many grand slams? I don't know, 60 something?

"And for the young guys, it's all about time. I don't know. We'll either have to beat them or wait for them."

Stefanos Tsitsipas had "no idea" how he moved to another level in the second set of a "rollercoaster" clash with Dominic Thiem before going on to win the ATP Finals.

The 21-year-old became the first Greek champion at the season-ending tournament, beating Thiem 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in a classic showdown at the O2 Arena on Sunday.

Tsitsipas and Thiem put on a thrilling show in London, the aggressive sixth seed putting the disappointment of losing a first-set tie-break behind him by bossing the second set.

Two-time French Open runner-up Thiem came 3-1 down to force another breaker, which Tsitsipas led 4-1 before the fifth seed stormed back again by winning the next three points.

Tsitsipas was not to be denied the biggest title of his fledgling career on his debut at the event, a year after he was crowned Next Gen champion, and he was at a loss to explain how he was able to level the match in such assertive fashion.

"I have no clue how I played so well in the second set," said Tsitsipas, the youngest winner of the tournament since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

"I have no idea. I think my mind was at ease and I wasn't really thinking of much, which led to such a great performance in the second set, breaking him twice. It was pretty much an excellent set for me.

"It was pretty frustrating for me to be playing with such nerves [during the final set]] for the first time in such a big event. I was a break up, I couldn't manage to hold it.

"Things were decided in the tie-break and I am so relieved by this outstanding performance and fight that I gave out on the court."

He added: "It's been a rollercoaster. Holding this trophy right now feels amazing."

Stefanos Tsitsipas edged a final-set tie-break in a classic battle with Dominic Thiem to claim the biggest title of his career and become the first Greek ATP Finals champion.

Tsitsipas and Thiem served up a thriller at the O2 Arena on Sunday and it was the 21-year-old tournament debutant who came out on top, prevailing 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

It took two hours and 35 minutes to settle an epic match that swung one way and the other, Thiem coming from 4-1 down in the decisive tie-break to get back on serve before Tsitsipas became the youngest winner of the competition since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

Tsitsipas struck 34 winners to two-time French Open runner-up Thiem's 36 in a pulsating, high-quality final, ending the season on a high note in London.

There was evidence of nerves as both players held to love in their first service games and Thiem thwarted the sixth seed when he faced the first break point in the fourth game.

The two warriors were aggressive from the start, unleashing winner after winner off both wings and charging to the net with authority.

Tsitsipas and Thiem saved two break points apiece before the Austrian came out on top in a tie-break, an errant backhand costing the Athens native.

A sprightly Tsitsipas put that behind him by taking a firm grip of the second set, putting away a brilliant forehand winner after toying with Thiem to go a double break up at 3-0.

Tsitsipas was relentless, serving it out after making only one unforced error in a one-sided second set and Thiem disappeared off court to gather himself for the decider.

The momentum was with Tsitsipas, who showed no let-up as he piled huge pressure on Thiem, who saved two break points in the first game of the final set but was up against it at 2-1 down after drilling a backhand into the net.

Thiem was not done yet, drawing on his fighting spirit and class to get back on serve at 3-3 and it seemed almost inevitable another breaker would be required to split the two.

Tsitsipas stormed into a 4-1 advantage and although Thiem refused to accept defeat as he stormed back to level at 4-4, a couple of stray groundstrokes cost him as he was denied in a titanic tussle between the first-time finalists.

Stefanos Tsitsipas described himself as "living the dream" after knocking out Roger Federer to book an ATP Finals showpiece against Dominic Thiem.

Greek star Tsitsipas ousted Federer 6-3 6-4 in the semi-final of the season-ending event to reach the biggest final of his career.

Tsitsipas has had an up-and-down year which started with a run to the last four of the Australian Open and was followed by a mid-season slump, but he appears to be keeping his best until last.

The 21-year-old saved 11 of Federer's 12 break points on Saturday and explained beating the 20-time grand slam champion, who he watched winning major tournaments growing up, was difficult to comprehend.

"I grew up watching Roger here at the ATP Finals and Wimbledon and other finals," said Tsitsipas, who also beat Federer in the last 16 of the Australian Open.

"I wished one day I could face him and now I'm here living the dream.

"I remember myself being one of the kids here watching the event and I could never picture myself here. But it can happen.

"This victory is probably one of my best moments of the season. These are the moments I live for.

"This does feel, in a way, like a grand slam, because all eyes are here. Everyone knows this event. Everyone who watches tennis knows what the ATP Finals are.

"For me, it's a great new start, great new beginning to be here, playing in the Finals. It's really very difficult to be in that position I am in right now and it counts a lot."

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the prime minister of Greece, was in attendance for the match and greeted Tsitsipas afterwards, highlighting the magnitude of his triumph.

"I'm really glad I played well, stayed calm," Tsitsipas said.

"It's a great moment not just for me, for everyone else, my country, my team. I'm proud of myself, how hard I fought, how concentrated I stayed in the break points. 

"I didn't crack under pressure. I was very composed and very mature in my decisions."

Tsitsipas and Thiem have met on six occasions over the last two years.

Thiem won four of those, including the most recent clash last month, which was a three-set battle in the China Open final.

Dominic Thiem will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the ATP Finals title after dethroning Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

Thiem beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to reach the last four of the season-ending tournament for the first time and dispatched Zverev 7-5 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday.

Zverev was unable to break the fifth seed, who was more composed than the defending champion and broke once in each set to set up a showdown with Tsitsipas - conqueror of Federer earlier in the day.

Thiem has won five titles in a stellar season and the two-time French Open runner-up will claim the biggest of his career if he gets the better of Tsitsipas on Sunday, having struck 21 winners in his sixth victory in eight meetings with Zverev.

The first break point came for Zverev, but Thiem denied his close friend to level at 2-2 after unleashing one of a number of blistering backhands.

Zverev saw another break point pass him by and it was his opponent - wearing exactly the same attire - who got the decisive break of a tight opening set. 

A couple of sloppy errors from Zverev gave Thiem two set points and the German thrashed his racket into the ground after returning to his chair following a costly double fault.

Zverev headed off court after watching his racket fly up in the air when he drilled it against the hard court in fury and the seventh seed was a break down at 4-2 in the second following a string of unforced errors.

Thiem got himself out of trouble when Zverev forced two break points in the next game and sealed victory with a forehand winner.

Matteo Berrettini bowed out of the ATP Finals on a high note by claiming his first victory of the tournament, ending Dominic Thiem's 100 per cent record in the process.

Thiem, who had already qualified for the semi-finals for the first time at the O2 Arena with magnificent victories over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 by an inspired Berrettini on Thursday.

The exertions put into defeating two of the all-time greats appeared to have taken a toll on the fifth seed, Berrettini capitalising to become the first Italian to win a match at the season-ending event.

Tournament debutant Berrettini struck 30 winners - 17 off his powerful forehand - and was broken only once, ending a successful season by levelling their head-to-head record at 2-2.

Federer and Djokovic will battle it out in the second session for the right to join Thiem in advancing from Group Bjorn Borg in London.

Berrettini seized control in the opening set by breaking to love for a 5-4 lead, a cross-court winner, following up one on his backhand side, drawing applause from his opponent.

The eighth seed failed to consolidate, netting a forehand volley after an excellent return from Thiem, but Berrettini put that behind him by bossing the tie-break, wrapping it up with an ace.

Berrettini's blistering forehand continued to fire in the second set and he broke to lead 4-2 following rasping winners off both wings, then ended his fruitful campaign with a drop shot that Thiem was unable to chase down.

Novak Djokovic praised Dominic Thiem's "unbelievable" performance after suffering a thrilling loss to the Austrian at the ATP Finals on Tuesday.

Djokovic went down to Thiem 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after an enthralling contest at the O2 Arena in London.

Thiem hit 51 winners and just as many unforced errors during an aggressive display that eventually paid off with victory in two hours, 47 minutes.

Djokovic, who will face Roger Federer in Group Bjorn Borg for a place in the semi-finals, praised Thiem's performance.

"I thought he deserved to win. He just played very courageous tennis and just smacking the ball, he went for broke, the entire match he played the same way he played the last point," the Serbian 16-time grand slam champion told a news conference.

"I mean, I have to put my hat down and congratulate him because he just played a great match."

Djokovic added: "I don't think I've experienced too many matches like this where my opponent just goes for every single shot.

"I mean, he was unbelievable, in some stages it was just incredible that he was just literally smacking the ball as hard as he can and it was going in.

"Of course his level is super high, today was unbelievable, but whether he can keep that up every match, if he does, chapeau, there's not much you can say, for sure he's playing great tennis."

Dominic Thiem said he was "in the zone" during his thrilling ATP Finals win over Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.

The Austrian booked his spot in the semi-finals in London by overcoming Djokovic 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) at the O2 Arena.

Thiem, who beat Roger Federer in Group Bjorn Borg on Sunday, said it was an unforgettable performance.

"I was in the zone from the first point on," he said in an on-court interview.

"I served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, but obviously I was playing the best returner in the game so I didn't worry too much, I was focusing on the tie-break and coming back from 4-1, a little bit of luck here and there.

"But, in general, it was just unbelievable and a match that I will probably never forget."

Thiem hit 51 winners during his win, coming from 4-1 down in the third-set tie-break to edge past Djokovic.

The 26-year-old was delighted with his performance and said it was the level required to beat the 16-time grand slam champion.

"This was really one of these very special matches that I practised all my life for, what I practised all my childhood for, a really epic one in front of an amazing atmosphere, beating a real legend of our game," Thiem said.

"I couldn't be happier and also I qualified for the semi-finals which is the best."

He added: "I was playing Novak, who is in great shape, who is probably the best player in the world right now.

"I had to do something special and luckily a lot of these balls and these winners went into the court."

Thiem will face Italian Matteo Berrettini in his final match in the group on Thursday.

Dominic Thiem followed up his win over Roger Federer with a stunning performance in an enthralling 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory over Novak Djokovic to secure his progression in the ATP Finals.

The most recent meeting between Djokovic and Thiem went the distance at Roland Garros in May, and it was the latter who triumphed again in a two-hour 50-minute classic.

After losing a 66-minute first set, Thiem rallied to force a decider for the first time in a match at this year's edition of the Finals, while ending Matteo Berrettini's slim qualification hopes in the process.

Despite going a break down, Djokovic - who will now battle it out with Federer for a last-four spot - seemed to have turned the tide in the final set, but Thiem thrived under the pressure, fighting back to clinch a remarkable win on a tie-break.

Djokovic looked set to take control after breaking on Thiem's second service game, yet the Austrian returned the favour to draw level at 3-3.

Thiem denied Djokovic a chance to claim the set in game 10, forcing the world number two onto the backfoot with a venomous serve.

Djokovic was at his best to nose himself ahead in the tiebreak with a stunning cross-court shot, but Thiem found a way back, only for an overhit forehand to hand to give last year's runner up an advantage he did not relinquish.

Two sensational backhands saw Thiem respond with a decisive early break in set two, racing into a lead that proved unassailable.

Thiem raised his arms to the crowd as he restored parity on his serve, though it was Djokovic's turn to fire up the spectators in the opening game of the decider, thumping the air after a wonderful defensive shot won him his first point.

It was to no avail as Thiem claimed another break, but Djokovic - after failing to take advantage of three chances to bounce straight back - did manage to swing momentum in his favour in game six.

However, Thiem refused to go down, holding serve magnificently before breaking for a fourth time, though a loss of focus at the vital moment resulted in another tie-break.

A sloppy start put Thiem on the back foot, but three successive winners paved the way for the world number five to force Djokovic into a weak shot into the net and ensure his place in the semi-finals for the first time.

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