2020 ATP Finals: Rublev Exits Tourney With Win Over Thiem

Tennis - ATP 500 - Erste Bank Open - Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria - October 31, 2020 Russia's Andrey Rublev celebrates after winning his semi final match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Russian Andrey Rublev ended his maiden campaign at the ATP Finals in style by beating Dominic Thiem 6-2 7-5 on Thursday.

The aggressive 23-year-old took full advantage of a rather flat performance by Thiem who had already sealed his place in the semi-finals with two wins in the London Group.

Defeats by Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas meant Rublev was playing only for pride although the $153,000 bonus for a group stage win provided a sizeable incentive.

The world number eight, who won a tour-leading five ATP titles this year, put the hammer down from the start, taking a 4-0 lead on his way to winning the opening set.

Rublev grabbed an early break in the second set but faltered at 4-3 when a netted forehand allowed Thiem to level.

But Rublev broke the Austrian world number three again at 5-5 with a thumping forehand and finished the job a game later.

He will look back on a missed opportunity having double-faulted when he held a match point against defending champion Tsitsipas in his second match.

Thiem will shrug off the defeat and now has a day off to prepare for Saturday’s semi-final when he will face either world number one Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev.

Later on Thursday Nadal faces Tsitsipas with the winner joining Thiem in the semi-finals.