Thiem, Nadal Win Opening Matches at ATP Finals in London
DOMINIC Thiem made sure this year's ATP Finals didn't begin the same way last year's ended.Thiem outlasted Stefanos Tsitsipas in a rematch of the 2019 final, beating the defending champion 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3 Sunday in the opening singles match of the tournament inside a largely empty O2 Arena.
In the late match, Rafael Nadal had a much easier time against newcomer Andrey Rublev, beating the Russian 6-3, 6-4 in just 1 hour, 17 minutes. Nadal is looking to cap a season in which he earned his record-equaling 20th Grand Slam title and 1,000th match win on tour by capturing his first trophy at the ATP Finals. He has qualified for the season-ending event for a record 16 straight years but lost in the final twice and missed six editions because of injuries.
“It’s important to start well, of course, for the confidence, because winning in straight sets helps,” Nadal said. "I played solid with my serve. I didn’t suffer much, and that helps to play more relaxed on the returns.”