Grigor Dimitrov stutters to three-set victory over Dominic Thiem — ATP Finals

Optimistic Rafael Nadal

I mean, I think there's a lot of components that are kind of coming together at some point.

In the late match, top-ranked Rafael Nadal faced David Goffin.

Austria's Thiem, the fourth seed, pressed home his advantage, making the most of some nervy play by Dimitrov to break to love and level the match at one set apiece.

It was Thiem, who made his debut at the event a year ago, who started nervously, making just 37 percent of his first serves in the opening set.

However, he was unable to repeat the feat on his next service game as a deft drop volley secured the break for Dimitrov, who was broken when he served when he served for the match but Dimitrov immediately retrieved the break of serve and at the second opportunity eventually closed out the match.

"There's always a little bit of tension before every match, and especially here, of course, a little bit because of all the atmosphere, arena".

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The contest sparked into life in the closing stages of the second.

The 26-year-old looked to have blown his chance to win when failing to serve out the match, but Thiem then produced two double faults in a row to hand the momentum back to Dimitrov.

However, as he attempted to the serve out the match his poise deserted him once more 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).

In an error-strewn finale, it was somewhat fitting that a shot long from Thiem clinched victory for Dimitrov. Earlier this month, Dimitrov failed to convert a match point losing to John Isner at the Rolex Paris Masters. "I was like, 'Not again, definitely not again,"' he added with a smile. I feel like I played an okay match.

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