Live coverage of Dominic Thiem v Grigor Dimitrov on the second day of the World Tour Finals. The eight-day tournament concludes the men's 2017 tennis season.
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All in form of their lives.
Hello, Rafa will take to the courts
here but coming up we have two
outstanding shot makers with
contrasting styles to entertain us
as Grigor Dimitrov takes on Dominic
Delighted to say Andrew Castle and
Tim Henman are with us again so Rafa
takes to the court but comes in here
with the injury pulled out of Paris
it is not ideal preparation for him
It is not. If you said to
every player you can only go on the
court if you are 100% healthy we
wouldn't have an event. There will
be niggles at the end of the year,
so fingers cross it is a niggle
rather than injury, given his style
of play, the way he move, how much
sort of strain it puts through his
knee, if it is injury it makes it
very difficult. I am optimistic, he
has never won this event and
hopefully he can put on a great
show, not just tonight the whole
We talked about Roger,
what about Rafa? In particularly at
the French, winning it ten times,
will we see that again?
is few numbers they have produced
and Novak, one of them is the ten
French Open, coming in, the Open era
from 1968 nobody had won a single
event ten times. Rafa did ten
Barcelona, ten Monte Carlo and a
tenth French Open. It is
extraordinary. I asked him about his
knee and he said if, he gave a cute
sheepish look and said I'm here. Is
your knee going to be OK? Hopefully
he will be but he was talking about
this event being on play, he --
clay, he feels hard don by it is not
on clay, if they were we would have
won every one, that is why he is
moaning about it. He has a point.
has. We may discuss that later Roger
had his say, he was on court and we
saw him go through, last night it
was the player that is leading the
next generation in action and
Alexander Zverev, very impressive
last night. Andrew, I know you saw,
3-1 he was to Cilic, and showing
heart and fight.
20 years old.
Six-and-a-half foot tall. Very
composed. Knows how to handle a big
crowd and opponent in Marin Cilic.
3-1 down, got bad tempered, wasn't
afraid to go toe to to with his
opponent down the other end and to
demonstrate that he is a character
that is comfortable out there, had a
word with umpire to apologise for
any aggravation, he looks to me the
real deal. His backhand is out of
Big serve, big crowd. He certainly
has a big future, that was vast
night so Roger and Zverev unbeaten
in the Boris Becker group. Today
it's the Sampras group. We have
Dimitrov against Thiem and Rafael
Nadal taking on David Goffin. These
are three great shot makers Rafa
Yes, very much so, and, you
know, you look at the year Rafa has
had, he is clear favourite or
certainly the best player in that
group. This opening match we have
got today, with Thiem and Dimitrov,
it's a great opportunity. This is
Dimitrov's debut at the end of year
Championships, and he has had a
fantastic year, a lot of success on
hard courts. Watching Roger play
yesterday, felt the court was a bit
quicker, I think that could favour
Dimitrov, but Thiem is so dangerous
from the back of the court. Probably
the biggest combination of ground
stroke, forehand and backhand, so he
will look to dictate the play as
And the battle of the
single-handed backhands, that is a
rarity, isn't it?
If you are going
to teach a bark hand it wouldn't be
single backhand. A very important
shot, Dimitrov's backhand slice. I
have never seen a kid hit it as
hard. I think Gregor, the way he
uses the slice, it is important,
this was the match I was looking
forward to most of all, in this
group, because if Rafa is fit, I
have to think he will be the guy to
go through, and I think this is the
play off for the second position.
They haven't even hit a ball in the
group and we are working out the
scenarios, it could be a great
match, Gregor will like the pace of
this court. It looked quick
When you look at the
youngsters, Zverev, that is the way
the game will evolve, big hitters?
We see less variety, less as of the
players come ocean to the net.
Dimitrov for me, has a lot of tools
to his trade. A lot of strings to
his bow, it is whether he can use
them at the right time. To change
the pace against Thiem to keep the
ball low out of his hitting zone and
maybe finish the point and maybe
serve and volley a bit, just to
break up the rhythm, it is going to
be a challenge for him today, but I
do think he has a good chance.
seems to be more suited to clay
though, isn't he.
Thiem on a clay
court is unbelievable. Gregor lost
to him the one time they played on
the clay. On this surface I think
you have to favour Gregor coming in,
this is a new mature man, it is not
the guy back in 2012 and 2013 that
had his mind on everything but the
tennis, he is settled this year and
we are seeing the best of him now.
Dimitrov will get into a Grand Slam
final and really push on. He will
love this atmosphere, because he
just loves the big show.
Don't we love seeing these behind
the scenes shots as the players make
their way, he is making history, the
first Bulgarian to get through to
the final. He says he is super happy
and super pleased to be here. He
missed out getting into the finals
by one spot a few years ago, he is
so looking forward. Such a popular
player, he will get a huge ovation.
From Bulgaria whereia Grigor
Ladies and gentlemen, playing at the
ATP finals for the second year in a
row, winner of eight ATP world
titles, from Austria Dominic Thiem.
Players on court. Dimitrov in the
build up there, Dominic Thiem did
the impossible this year, didn't he,
he beat Rafael Nadal on clay.
Final of Madrid I think it was,
and yes, it is incredible,
incredible effort. Clay is his best
surface, when you are that powerful
and that explosive from the back of
the court, really can work on any
type of surface, he has the
experience of having played here
last year, he won one lost two
matches in his group stage, for me
with Dimitrov taking his debut, the
first five or six games can be
important for him to settle down. He
needs doe a good job of focussing on
serve, making sure he hits his spot
so he can keep the rallies
shorterment Thiem will look to try
and bully him from the back of the
As far as Dimitrov goes he
loves the big stage, he said he
wants to come out here, he loves
something to say about every
situation, he has got a shot for
every occasion, sometimes it is
consistency has let him down, now he
is 26 he has had a bit of wild
living, he has had a bit of that
early 20s feeling where you think
you are the going to be alive
forever, now he has settled. His
tenth year on tour. Looking forward
to this one.
Welcome to the ATP
finals. We will do a quick picture
facing that way after the toss, so
this is heads, which would you like.
Heads, go ahead.
Heads it is.
So a picture will be taken and then
we will be off with this one, but
for most of these players the last
few months having matched their
strong start for the year, but both
Thiem and Dimitrov come in with
their highest career ranking, aiming
for the biggest prize in their
careers so far.
Reward for that year, for my team,
so many times I was close, but never
able to, yes, to convert to be out
here, but this time I was safe
through it, and I am looking forward
I didn't expect to be back
for a second time in a row, that is
why I look forward a lot and
hopefully enjoy the bit more than
last year and not be that nervous.
Dominic is, he has been playing well
throughout the whole year, pretty
much on all the surface, he is the
type of player that doesn't shy away
when he gets out on the court and
really goes for his shots. Super
dangerous, it doesn't matter where
in the court he is going to be, he
can always find a which to pull the
trigger and have a heavy ball
Big show man, it is great
fun to play against him. He is
coming up every match with great
shots and I think it is great start
to the Monday when we play each
So lit between the two. You look at
their head-to-head this year, they
played twice and Dimitrov won the
first one, then had match point,
think five match points but Thiem
came back and won on clay.
be interestingches I was giving
Thiem a Masters 1000 title. He beat
Rafa in the semifinal not the final.
But no, I think that was an
impressive performance from Dimitrov
on clay, you would have felt that he
is where Thiem is the favourite. He
is a bit quicker, I think it
emphasises the point we talked about
this year, how evenly matched they
are, so today, on this type of
surface indoors, you know, could the
balance swing Dimitrov's way? I
think so. It is going to as is the
case boil down to who can create the
opportunity, we saw in Federer's
match, he had five break points
second set. Couldn't take anything,
who can dominate the big points?
has lost some matches Thiem when he
has had chance, particularly the US
Open against Del Potro.
It is all
very well coming out at 19, 21,
having the biggest ground stroke, it
is how you manage the game, how you
put the team together, how yolk look
after your training, getting all
those matches in the tank where you
lose some and win some and learn, he
is beginning to turn into that all
court player that we were looking
for, obviously clay is a big deal.
He has a great coach on his side as
has Dimitrov. He is still developing
as a player.
That is where Dimitrov
has taken a bit longer to mature, he
is 26. It feels like he has been
round for a long time. This is the
first time he has qualified. It is
those pieces of the puzzle of his
game that has taken longer to fit
together, to understand what work,
learning from the losses, and
certainly winning in Cincinnati
Masters 1,000 for his fist fighting
with would have given him
We got a shot of one of
the coaches, he has been a big
impact in Dimitrov's life. Dimitrov
went to him and they had a
heart-to-heart, a serious talk, he
said, and Danny, he said you deserve
to be toe to toe with the very best
and you have to learn to be patient,
and that really made a big
difference in his game.
structure to his life. The way he
practises on the practice court, the
way he trained in the gym, really to
get everything working, because when
you break it down, shot for shot,
his athletic abilities, he is a
phenomenal move mover, he can
volley, he wasn't really getting the
returns for the games he had. That
is where Danny had a great impact
and the results have shown this year
on the court.
You have to click with
your coach you look the rank, he has
gone from 40 to number six.
hit 40 we were going that is
ridiculous, he is clearly a top 15,
top 20 player, even if he just shows
up, now I see him as a legitimate
Grand Slam possibility every single
time and a potential winner here. He
played one of the matcheses of the
year to begin this year. He was
16-1. He won Brisbane. Australian
Open against Rafa, it was
unbelievable. So you know, he has
arrived with Danny, to win this
event and to continue doing the work
and also Roger Rashid who worked
with him before, he had input.
Everyone is a work in progress, you
can't just turn up an win a slam at
18. Both guys potential world number
one, who is next when the big boys
move off? Here we are. At least two
of them any way.
So many exciting
players, maybe that is what Grigor
's generation are saying.
his style of game and the way he
play, there has been unfair
comparison with Federer, and think
it probably was a weight on his
shoulders, with the other young
players coming up, that motivated
him to say I need to be part of that
koonerisation and rightly so. They
have had a great year, I am sure he
is capable of backing it up next
year irrespective of what happens.
You need a tactician, I don't think
people give Danny enough credit
working with Danny -- Andy Murray.
He was part of that journey for a
long time. Huge learning curve for
Danny off the court, it was a
learning curve for Andy on the
court, Danny has been able to work
with a couple of other players in a
short period of time. But this
relationship with Grigor has
certainly cemented well, and I am
sure will go on for many more years.
He is a great athlete, he will need
to be today, because he will be hit
by a barrage from the other side, in
every department, isn't he.
absolutely right. I think the
combination of power forehand and
backhand, there is no-one hits the
ball harder than Thiem. Dimitrov
will need his defensive skill, keep
the ball back in play when he can,
he has to look to dictate with his
weapons as well.
We would love to
hear from you as well if you want to
get in touch with us on social
media. We will talk about how
excites you in the world of tennis,
maybe away from the top ones we have
seen in recent years but two of the
very best are on court at the
moment, very contrasting styles but
it promises to be entertaining. We
would love to hear from you, now it
is time for me to hand over to Andy.
Thank you very much. This with a
match particularly I was looking
forward to from this group. I hope
people at home feel the same way. So
Monday afternoon and off we go with
the Sampras group. Headed by Nadal,
Nadal Goffin later
you can sense the excitement here.
Two great player. Dimitrov serving
That is the classic one two punch.
To dictate play.
Ball is called out.
Second serve, spinning, you can see
why the line judge would call that
out. It had such a lot of work in,
it was going through the air slowly
and curling in with the spin.
of out for 99% of its journey.
Feels like that flying into Heathrow
Final 1% is important in both plays.
Very important. Small target, seems
Double fault in the end.
faults were there? Must have
Can serve six serves.
not get the point going.
Get one of them in and still serve a
I think that is right.
That is his favourite shot, that is
the one he would name as the shot
that gives him the most joy,
backhand down the line. Magnificent
ball striking from both these
player, just been looking forward to
it, because they play with a lovely
grace. If there was one thing that I
would say about Dominic Thiem I am
surprised he doesn't block the ball
back in to play particularly off
first serve like Federer. We are
looking back to Dimitrov at
Cincinnati. He won that Masters 1000
series without dropping a set. The
lovely variation with the serve, if
he is putting it on a six pence, he
is pretty tough to break.
Been with a success of players, must
have been 25, 30 years out there.
That is evidence of some physical
work being done there, not so easy
to knock Grigor Dimitrov off playing
surface these days, he controls the
space around his baseline well.
Playing the ball rather than
allowing ball to blame.
-- play him.
That is the danger of this slice, if
it is too short.
Another three or four foot and he
probably wouldn't have been able do
ta with the forehand. Not so easily.
Is that a Beckham?
I hope it wasn't, he should be in
I hope so, it is not the
half-term, is it?
Thiem looking to be aggressive on
first and second, but 0 for seven
first serves in this game.
It gives Dimitrov a great early
There we go.
Got some first serves going in the
Only made three of 12 first serves
but when it went in, three cheap
points won them all.
Up the other end of the court, just
under 90% first serves from
A good match this. Had to work hard
did Dominic Thiem the world number
four whose younger brother we just
saw there. Great to see him for a
second time here in London.
There he is the world number four.
Nadal was saluted on court yesterday
as the year end world number one.
Roger Federer could have made
himself a part of that particular
contest by playing well in Paris and
playing well here, but his body wa
not allow him to compete in Paris.
Roger had to pull out just to rest
himself and get ready for this and
that's the nature of being 36 years
of age, but Dominic Thiem has got
many, many years ahead of him. The
girlfriend is watching on. Quite a
star couple. Former world junior
champion, Christina. But consistency
from Dominic Thiem and maturity in
his game as he continues to add
elements that are going to elevate
him to the very, very top, top one
And this is the court movement you
were talking about, Tim.
It is just phenomenal foot speed and
talking about not giving up until
the ball has bounced twice. Great
lesson for young players watching.
Nicely done. Excellent footwork.
That was slicing a great deal. He
wasn't exactly sure what was going
to go on with that squash up from
Dimitrov. Bashing his forehand into
the corner. This one, you just see
that lovely footwork from Thiem. He
doesn't want to go 0-30 down. It is
warming up nicely this match.
He's not the tallest guy out there.
Certainly seeing the two big men
play last night. He still can get
after that first serve.
It's the second one of those we have
seen and clearly a game plan that
Dimitrov has taken out after
speaking to his coach.
Really impressive serving, it is not
as if Dimitrov is just rolling the
first serve in, he is hitting his
spots and hitting it at pace. 86%
finding their mark.
Something has aflited him over the
years is just a slight variation
when he doesn't want it in where the
ball toss goes. He has slowed the
motion down over the last couple of
years and the ball toss, very
deliberate now and quite precise.
Sometimes he rushed and sometimes
the knee bend used to be a little
bit heavier and deeper than was
helpful at times.
It was right to be called out last
time he a backhand down that line.
This one here, it is tough for a
line judge. And he has got it right
This guy is a legend on the line.
Don't ever question him again.
So he has wrapped that one around
the frame. Dimitrov keeps his nose
in front 3-2 and we're already
joining group Pete sam pass. Nadal
leads. He is world number one and he
is right up at the top. He plays
Goffin later on. Each one of those
as Sue Barker was saying, each one
is playing at a career high at the
moment. Zverev having been 3-1 in
the decider and Jack Sock lost 4 and
6 in the opening match. We on the
BBC have got eight full days of
this. The final is next Sunday
afternoon. It's the top eight in the
world only. It is the season ending
finale. Two groups of four. And then
a final on Sunday as I say. You made
this event how many times?
Two-and-a-half times. I played as a
You got in and played?
Yes. And twice in Hannover. Once in
Was that 2003 and 2004?
2004 was Houston. The other ones
were, I finished eighth once for
Sydney and I had to pull out with
shoulder surgery which was not great
timing, but fantastic event to be a
Agassi won in Houston in
2003 and Hewitt in 2004 in Houston.
Who did you play? You can't
remember, can you?
I played, I beat
Macquarie and lost to Safin and
there is another match that I will
Answers on a
Andy Roddick, I think.
It is a little ambitious. Dimitrov
doesn't want to give the court. A
heavy deep ball to be whipping
ground strokes off. He kind of up
had the upper hand in the rally and
you felt he could have taken a risk
and moved forward.
Dimitrov is in full flow. Quite a
There is a bit of something on that
slice, wasn't there? Really dug down
on the return of serve.
It was a
good return because it was a big
second serve. Dimitrov really did
well to get his racket behind the
ball and get some penetration on the
The second serve misses as well. He
is having a torrid time serving just
about 27%, six of 22.
When it does go in, seven of seven.
And there is the slice again on the
But it is not just a slice,
there is some work and some energy
on the ball. He fizzed it back. It
is a useful shot for him.
I just think Dominic Thiem should be
adding that to his game. It is
something we have seen Federer
dismantling big servers with for
It is like a volley
technique. Get the ball back in
play, but with interest.
The coach of Rafael Nadal doing a
bit of scouting. Nadal is playing
tonight. World number ones scattered
all over The O2.
That's mummy Thiem.
Well, how was that? I mean there are
drive volleys which are more
conventional than that one. Really
no more than a flick on the backhand
side. Thiem miles behind the
baseline and that was a sweet touch.
I think given, this is a great shot,
we talk about many drive forehands,
but drive hack band a tough shot.
With Thiem's court position you
would think that Dimitrov would like
to get forward even more.
serve. Thiem challenging.
the other side. He doesn't seem too
It's away. Thiem too far behind the
baseline once again and Dimitrov
playing game seven. He will be
delighted to have backed up a break
of serve. A couple of first serves
at the right time. His serve
percentage has dropped off a little
bit, Dimitrov, but found the mark on
those big points. Showing great
intensity and a high level of play
and this is his debut at the year
end championships. Clearly both
players have done the work, but for
Dimitrov, ten years on tour and
finally here and this discipline and
maturity that he has brought from
the practise court really since Dani
Vallverdu was brought on board and
is really paying off. 26 years of
age. Started the year ranked at 17
and now number six. He got as high
as number eight in the world in
2014, that was the year you might
remember he beat Andy Murray, the
defending champion at Wimbledon.
And then lost the semifinal at
Wimbledon without producing his best
tennis on a very windy day against
Novak Djokovic so that's the calibre
of the play that he's capable of.
Big crowds in for every session
here. The singles match and a
doubles match in each session. The
Bryans beat Suarez and Jamie Murray
30% first serve percentage, 32%.
Definitely not good. With the first
serve first serves he missed.
It is quick. 130mph. And it enables
Thiem to ask the question in this
game. And if your ball toss is going
to go squiffy and if you are going
to get uptight on the serve, now
would be the time. You don't like to
tempt fate with these things, but
it's an area that Grigor Dimitrov
hasn't always been the strongest at,
There you go. Decent start.
A bit of adrenalin in the first
Miles out. Soaring over the back
hoarding and Grigor Dimitrov holds
to love much to the delight of his
many Bulgarian fans here in London.
He has got a cheer squad and he will
react as well as any player to a
cheering squad because he's putting
on a fine show and there is nothing
he likes more than playing in front
of a lot of people. Let's see if you
can make something of these numbers,
Tim. These graphics I find quite
difficult to read, but you can have,
right, winners, OK more more
Dimitrov than for Thiem. That isn't
a surprise. Unforced errors, they
both made more.
Points one on serve,
they are talking about first and
second serve there, but when you
break that down, dehit 67% of first
serves which is a good number. And
he won 89% of those points. 16 out
of 18 first serve points won for
Dimitrov. That's a great platform
playing on a relatively quick indoor
court. Dimitrov getting so many
looks at Thiem's second serve.
Getting into the baseline rallies.
Dimitrov winning his fair share.
First serves in 37%, we have been
highlighting that throughout the
course of that set. First set points
at 91%. Even when they go in...
only made 11 first serves in that
Neither player doing
particularly well, not above 50%. It
is like a game you put ten pence in
the 70s and 80s trying to work out
what the graphics are saying.
Dimitrov is doing a good job on
serve, but giving up few
opportunities. Thiem not getting a
break point and as you say, with
that ball toss, I think sometimes it
can just go a little bit left. It
goes over his left shoulder, but in
that last game, an impressive effort
to finish the set off.
Obviously along with a few
footballers in Bulgaria, he is just
a massive global star, Dimitrov. And
it takes time to settle into that
and find your way in the world.
Dimitrov has certainly settled into
stardom now. The first set in this
group has gone to Dimitrov and Thiem
serving a set down.
It is interesting to look at the
backgrounds of these players.
Dominic Thiem, his mum is here.
Dimitrov's bad was a professional
coach. You have to come from an
athletic background at the very top
-- dad. It certainly helps.
I don't like it when players get
written off when they are too young
if their parents were not involved.
It is probably a bit too much of a
slave to that.
Absolutely nailing the volleys,
Dimitrov when he comes in.
You cannot give Dominic Thiem time.
When he has a chance, anything at
the height of the net or just above,
he's getting his racket through.
You wonder from Thiem's point of
view, had no impact on Dimitrov's
serve, when does he start to do
something different, is there a Plan
B or is he saying I have to do Plan
I wonder whether he does have
For me he might be better off
standing a long way back on the
first serve and moving in on the
sefrked and he does the opposite,
stands closer for the first serve
and goes a lot further back.
That one Kuznetsov completely
different because he is 40-0 down,
why not? Why would a player like
Thiem go out there, and move back on
a second serve, and start wailing
from the back of the court. That is
the Nadal approach but that is
He has big swings so he likes
to have a bit more time, but the
second serve is the one opportunity
he has to attack.
Staying in on this one Thiem.
All this advice you give out for
free, you could be a consultant. You
wouldn't have to spend those week
tonnes road! Expensive one!
He will keep an eye on you, Gunter
Bresnik, he has a good job.
Talk about players by proactive or
reactive, in the first set, Thiem
was very reactive, he was letting
Dimitrov dictate. Now being a bit
First set persang getting better. He
is 2-1. This is the season ending
finale, just eight men in this
event, but looking back, at the nine
Masters 1000 series events that
offer the most point, computer
points outside of the Grand Slams,
let us like there. Indian Wells on
the hard court, after Australia and
a couple of European indoor events.
Roger Federer, a winner there to his
extraordinary start to the year, he
beat Stanislas Wawrinka and Rafael
Nadal. Then it was on to the clay
and a tenth title for Nadal over the
left-hander Ramos Vince has. In
Madrid he beat Thiem. Thiem unable
to compete on the Spanish clay, not
the first person it has to be said.
Rome Zverev delivering one of those.
Dimitrov, didn't lose a set at
Cincinnati, preUS Open. He beat Nick
Kyrgios in the final. Won that
tournament. In Shanghai indoors
Roger Federer over Nadal, a final we
could see here and Jack Sock
qualified and got into the top ten
of the world winning in Paris. Sock
won it and all the way from 24th in
the world to the top eight.
Indian Wells was the Masters 1,000
tournament of year.
Indoors Roger Federer over Nadal, a
final we could see here and Jack
Sock qualified and got into the top
ten of the world winning in Paris.
Sock won it and all the way from
24th in the world to the top eight.
Indian Wells was the Masters 1000
tournament of year.
aggressive, consistent from the back
of the court. Significant turnout.
-- bit more.
As is often the case when you get
behind in the count you look to be
more aggressive, and great footwork
from Dimitrov to get round his
backhand and unleash this forehand.
Look at this, skip, skip, skip.
Businessman. -- bam.
Dimitrov's first serve percentage
that was dropping off in this set.
But right when he needed it three
first serves in a row.
It is easy in the big moments to
thrift back in to old habits and big
point there, you felt that Thiem was
moving further and further behind
the baseline. Giving Dimitrov more
time to dictate.
Two games all.
Thiem didn't have break point but
the first time he has got stuck into
Dimitrov's service game.
There is that slice again.
Wearing red today but Biggs Chelsea
fan. -- but big Chelsea fan. He
normally plays in Halle before the
Championships. Went to the England
game, 0-0 against Germany.
Game Thiem. Thiem leads 3-2.
So pretty much getting on with this
match, just the one hour up on the
clock, 6-3 first set to Dimitrov.
Further evidence that this court is
quite quick, that will suit Federer,
in the other group. Tonight David
Goffin the Belgian star, is playing
against Rafael Nadal.
Tomorrow we will revert back to the
other group, which is the Boris
Jack Sock will be pretty much in a
must win situation, but it's the top
two from each group that go through
to the semifinals, so the winner of
one group plays the oner up from the
other, in the semifinals. Been here
since 2009. In London at the O2 and
pretty much every session sold out.
You have play on that court, haven't
you, you played here? But not in
the, not the the tournament as such.
You were drafted in to play an
Yes, when Federer pulled
out in the final against Djokovic,
and had the pleasure of partnering
Pat Cash, and we took on Andy Murray
and John McEnroe.
And Mac was
competitive. What is new?
You are being nice.
Feels like a big arena when you are
playing on that surface, doesn't it?
Big arena and a lot of space round
How does change things if you walk
on to a court and there is lots of
space round the playing arena?
felt it made the conditions seem a
bit slower. When you look at the
distance between the advertising
hoardings and the baseline, that is
is a long, long way. For me trying
to come to the net, didn't
necessarily like that, when you play
on a small compact court it always
felt a bit quicker.
Funny isn't it perception.
Dangerous moments once again on the
Love 30 in the last game, Thiem,
Dimitrov was able to come up we the
three first serve, he now needs to
find the mark. Again pretty rapidly.
Gutsy shot. A
Not easy a rising
ball the a single backhand to get
There can be nothing half hearted
Down 2-3, love 30.
Thiem treats again on second serve.
That is is a bad miss, though, isn't
it. You can argue whether that is
the right tactics or not and they
will have talked about it, Bresnik.
On an indoor court it puts you in a
negative position. On slower
surfaces when you are going to take
the attitude you will grind your
opponent out, maybe, but I think he
has to make it happen more here.
Danny. Grew up with Andy Murray,
tennis wise at academy in Spain.
Worked with and alongside Andy
Murray to many of his success,
working with Dimitrov now.
Really doesn't matter how hard
you are hitting the ball, he has to
be a good ten feet behind the
baseline, Thiem. It gives Dimitrov
so much time to see the ball,
irspeck tiff of how fast it is
Respective of how fast it is coming.
That was set up by a good first
serve, but when he establishes
himself on the rally, that is when
he has to be Agassi.
There is a light right behind Thiem.
Dimitrov will be looking at the
server, it is somebody's camera.
Dimitrov getting on with it.
Dominic Thiem has had his chances in
this set. Trying to go three sets
is. We saw one last night between
Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev, he
is by far the youngest player here
at 20, but with a backhand and
forehand but his backhand is a thing
of beauty, so that is in the other
group. Two single-handed backhands
on parade here, we are missing a lot
of player, Stanislas Wawrinka called
an early end so his season. You will
have seen him hitting a couple of
cans over, I know you are not on
Twitter, at least he is back out on
court. The big concern for British
tennis fans is Andy Murray, and you
were with him at the live event in
Glasgow, earlier on, or last week
now, how was he moving, did you
speak to him, is there anything you
can tell us we don't know?
working incredibly hard as you have
come to expect and doing so much
strength work in the gym, to build
up the stability, I guess in the
hip, and it was great to see him out
on the court. I still think he has a
way to go when he played Roger in
Glasgow, we all know about the hip
injury now, so I think we are a lot
more an lit #k58, critical the way
he has walked. His has always walked
with a bit of a limp, there is more
of a limp. Once gets into the points
he's was moving OK, he still has a
good window of training, rehab, to
get ready for Australia at the
beginning of next year.
What is the
second baby called?
We don't know.
Dimitrov coming in with depth and
Thiem hitting up and unable to
control a passing shot. Now, here is
a moment. Somebody is shrieking
break time coming from the crowd.
You do notice everything when you
are a player or a performer on any
stage you generally, you notice, you
And you try and ignore
Somebody just said, "You're
about to lose your serve."
130mph. Didn't miss by much.
That's a wonderful game from Dominic
Thiem. A bit of pressure at 4-4 and
he responded with a love hold.
He is such a handful on any court,
Dominic Thiem, the world number
four. He is 24 years of age, but on
a clay court he is a monster. In
Barcelona earlier this year he beat
Andy Murray who was world number one
at the time. Top seed there and lost
to nodal and went off to Madrid and
lost to Nadal there. But turn that
around at what used to be called the
Italian Open, the Masters 1000
series, it is a great tournament and
he beat Nadal in the quarterfinal
and it was a big set-up the
semifinal, him and Djokovic and
everyone was looking forward to it
and he got hammered. Can you imagine
beating Thiem 1-0 on a clay court?
So Thiem beat Nadal in Rome? I think
I said Madrid earlier. You beat
Nadal and you must be feeling
confident on a clay court. And the
next day you get one game. Back to
I would say so. Some of the
hospitality here at The O2, all the
major sponsors of the ATP Tour that
go to so many places, they have got
boxes and meetings taking place. It
is one of the great gatherings here
and then the tennis tour largely
goes to sleep, but only for a few
weeks, only to re-emerge blinking
from a grey and cold European winter
and head to the sunshine of
Australia at the beginning of next
Focussed on a lot of other stats,
but Dimitrov has been to the net 12
times and won ten and Thiem has come
to the net five times and won them
So why don't they get to the
It's about what you come into the
net behind these days. You can't
come in and play some nice firs
volley for position and put the
second one away.
You have got to be
selective, but the theme of
finishing the point at net is a good
one. Its not going to happen all the
time, but looking to be aggressive
and dictate to your opponent.
This is the 20th game of the match.
Dimitrov has come in 12 times. Twice
every three games. I mean, it's
nothing. If he could come to the net
once a game.
Played a couple of times this year
in Brisbane and Dimitrov was playing
out of his mind at the beginning of
the year. He won that one 6-3 in the
third and then they played in Madrid
on the clay, Thiem won that one,
7-6, final set. That was 11-9, the
Really giving away too much trtry.
He must have been 20 feet behind the
baseline. It was a heavy ball from
Grigor Dimitrov, but you wouldn't
have thought he needed to be that
far back. It's a break point.
Oh yes, moving forward on to that
ball, he looks so good doing it. You
can't tell me he doesn't know how to
play a high ball. That's a wonderful
Look where the contact
point is, on the baseline, being
aggressive, dictating play. Got to
look to do that more often
irrespective of the score.
That shot helps as well, 134mph.
It looked like it caught the line.
Break point saved. Excellent hold in
the end from Dominic Thiem.
Giving away a lot of territory at
the back of the court, but stepping
up and catching that forehand
beautifully to save the break point
and then serving it out. Do you see
him as a future world number one
yourself, having seen his
I guess po toningsly.
The exciting thing for him, there is
areas he can improve on. He
generates a lot of power, with you
doesn't have the consistency yet.
From the back of the court, falls
into a similar category. Can hit the
ball hard and generate both wings,
that I think on this type of surface
the court positioning is a question
mark, but having heard about his
work ethic, how motivated he is and
the hours that he spends on court, I
think with the team around him he
will be looking to make those
improvements and if he does that,
you could see him a the top of the
The next finals in Milan were
considered a success. Chung of South
Korea won that. Donaldson was
playing that as well. Others beside,
but some developments from the next
gen. I am sure we will get a chance
to talk about the Grand Slams this
week. So having had his opportunity
Dimitrov must now fend-off this
situation at 5-6.
It felt like Dimitrov was the player
who had the opportunity on the third
shot of the rally. His second shot
maybe to attack and come in. And he
didn't do that. Thiem was able to
work his way into the point and that
last backhand was definitely a
little bit tight.
And it's away. Dominic Thiem makes
it 1-1. Mum over there, delighted
and his partner, Christina as well.
Going the distance. This is another
thing that's being looked at is the
amount of toilet breaks that can be
taken. All part of the Next Gen view
of the world as we take a look at
set number two and see what has
turned around. Total winners, well,
roughly the same. The ratio of
winners to unforced errors not
looking good for Dimitrov there.
That proves it was the last game
because he did after all have that
break point opportunity at 5-5. How
quickly it can turn round. Points
won on points served.
Looking at the
serving stats there, the one that
will worry Dimitrov is first serve
percentage. When it goes in, he was
winning a good percentage, 80%, but
only made 43% of first serves.
That's really a role reversal, it
was Thiem in the first set who
couldn't find the mark.
set was really low.
What you struggle, I have not been
in a spaceship, but it is like
having to look at the dials on that
and trying to make sense of it
sometimes, but you try and follow
these things. I do my best!
There will be revolutions and the
spin rate, you will see that graphic
come up from Dominic Thiem and
towards the end of that set, he was
rewarded for staying back and
hitting hard because Grigor Dimitrov
did get tight.
He kept the ball in
play and it's the tactic that won
him last game, but I think really to
be a dominant force indoors he has
to be more committed to his
And having viewed all the sta Starcs
the most important thing, it is 1-1.
We have a third set shoot-out. I
think the start of this third set
could be important.
Can Thiem maintain the momentum and
the aggression or can Dimitrov turn
Nine points in a row for Thiem.
The next game is going to be
absolutely vital for Dimitrov to
settle back into this match. He has
been completely outplayed the last
eight or nine minutes.
A debut for Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic
Thiem is world number four from
Austria, the man in your picture.
Looked up to the likes of Kubick.
They have always had good players in
This is the talisman for Bulgarian
tennis. Dimitrov. An important game
This is a very poor run of form now
You can see by Dimitrov's reaction,
the fist pump and looking at his
box, he appreciated what an
important game that was.
This is another thing at the Next
Gen final ins Milan, every single
line was covered by Hawk-Eye and
they have got the technology to do
that, so there was no need for any
of this. Was a great addition and
it's important to get the right
call. But if it was automatic, we
could be playing already.
It's quite fun a bit of drama, isn't
it, with a few challenges?
I think the use of the technology is
a must because it's very difficult
calling the ball when it's
travelling so fast so close to the
lines and you want to make sure that
matches are not decided on a bad
Nicely done. The evening session is
one to look forward to with Rafa
Nadal here, of course, and hopefully
his knee will be OK, but as you were
saying before, Tim, nobody in tennis
at this point in the season is
playing without something slightly
wrong. All the players are looking
forward to some rest after this one,
but many will go straight into a
training block after maybe a week or
ten-day holiday. It never really
stops, does it?
It is always the
challenge and getting that schedule
right and here we are in the middle
of November after a busy season. The
players definitely need a bit of
time just to relax and recuperate
and let any of those aches and pains
and niggles t hopefully disappear
before they really put themselves
through their paces to give
themselves the platform to start
building in 2018.
Learning how to manage your body and
the schedule also is something that
you learn over time. Federer has
certainly managed that, deciding to
pull out of Paris ahead of this
event where if he had played that
Masters 1000 series event and done
well, pedestrian would still be in
with a shout of finishing yet
another year as world number one, as
it is, Nadal has now done enough,
but the rivalry between those two,
don't think for a moment that they
don't want to be getting through the
It was interesting to
hear Federer talking earlier on in
the week how he expects to play more
tennis next year. He views this year
as such an exceptional performance,
even he doubts that he could repeat
it, therefore feels he might have to
add a few extra tournaments.
did you say?
Year. He views
And here is the man likened so many
times to Roger Federer. Baby Fed
they used to call him. I think he
preferred Prime Time. The
resemblance, people don't really
compare him anymore. He's Grigor
It's good hitting from Dimitrov,
don't get me wrong, but it is an
open invitation when Thiem stands
that far behind the baseline.
He couldn't get through him and he
couldn't get past him, Dimitrov. But
he did get over the top.
With a beautiful top-spin, lob, just
a lit flick. Not easy from there.
This wasn't very good.
Is That is always the its financing
do you that.
Decent hold there towards the end of
the second set, beginning of the
third set, this desired here.
Thiem did have a run of 11 straight
Two all now, with new tennis balls.
Dimitrov refusing to give territory,
at baseline, at one point, getting
right down, whack back of court,
smothering the ball. Here is an
opportunity, Thiem can't buy a first
serve in this game yet.
Is hustling. 105mph, went for the
kick. Didn't pay dividends, two
This is the meat of the match now.
Net cord not helping the Bulgarian
Two second serves in this game.
Dimitrov has tried to come over the
backhand and first point and that
one, there, the break point.
is a fine line, on that second you
would say well he committed to it,
he went for it. But going down the
the line, high part of the net.
It is a high risk strategy for such
a big point.
It was a game where Dimitrov worked
his way into a good position there,
had to Hustle and sprint round the
back of the Court and Thiem has got
out of it to main the momentum. Hats
off to him for that game. That is is
a momentum biller.
It certainly is,
this is where Thiem has the score
board on his side. Cheeps his nose
Puts the pressure back on Dimitrov,
when you are always playing catch
up. First Bulgarian player is
Dimitrov, to reach the season ending
Championship. Of course on the
women's side they have the malaria
sisters who were superb players. --
Malava. For Austria, a fine seam of
players but Thiem considered to be
the best since Thomas Muster.
Each of the action coming your way
here on the BBC.
We will have different ones.
Just as Nadal is on this evening.
These matches, despite the likes of
Djokovic and Wawrinka, Nishikori.
Andy Murray, we miss those players
but the tennis, no less intense,
because of it.
The We do have the schedule for
tomorrow. Cilic versus Sock.
Is Tomorrow afternoon.
It is a must win match.
For both players.
Great response. Disappointment,
worked so hard in the previous game
and not broken. So not hanging his
head at all, is he.
It is a great
technique on the volley, meeting it
out in front. Punching the racket
Pumping the fist. He has come to the
net 19 time, you have to think that
is probably not enough. He needs to
come forward more.
You can hear the work Dimitrov is
doing round the back of the court.
The stamping of the feet on those
The value of the work on that second
point, 20, 30 feet off the court
surface, now he has his chance f
Haye had gone love 30 down, chances
of him winning the game or getting
involved in it were very slim. Now,
the half chance.
Wonderful block return of serve.
Thiem will feel he shouldn't have
missed this one, has he missed it?
Do more here in the third set for
Oh! That is magnificent.
That didn't everyone look to be an
option, that is is right off the
The chip short return, you can't
account for where that is going to
go. He saw it, so quick, and alive
to the opportunity, followed it in.
And this is Tiger Woods with a wedge
would have been delighted with that.
When you see a player with this much
skill, this good a technique around
the net, mine that is not an easy
It is not an easy shot on the
practice court. Recognises that is
an awkward approach, moves forward
Thiem playses a very delicate little
backhand and from a off his
shoelaces. That is beautiful, isn't
That is one of the best shots we
have seen all year. That is not
overstating it. Look at the
cleanness and the contact on the
ball, is demonstrated by the amount
of spin there is on it and that
stops dead. The ball has travelled
forward only five, six, seven feet.
The short of shot you play as a kid
and you love them. That is is one of
It is one you try a
couple of hundred times but it only
comes off a couple of times. Now he
has to put that behind him, get back
in to the process of hitting his
spots on his first serve.
First serve down at 40% again. He
needs to hit his targets now and
look to dictate.
Thiem sticking around.
Doesn't really have the technique on
that backhand slice. He had thrown
some heavy artillery down the other
Dimitrov had the chance to move
forward in the rally, and once you
haven't done that you felt Thiem had
a chance but poor unforced error at
this stage of the match.
He does have one challenge
remainling Thiem, so he has had two
failure news in set. He has asked
the questions twice, this one felt
great off the racket, he had
Dimitrov off the court with this,
did it land? He will be a bit cross
if it did.
Perhaps crosser because it didn't.
He hit it so well.
Certainly hit the spot with the
Took a little pace off 110 but smart
Four straight points and love 30
down Thiem will be so disappointed
there, he had his chance, will he
Think looking at Dimitrov's reaction
after winning that points, he
fancies another break of serve.
Rather than going through the
process of trying to serve it out at
That is fine, heavy top-spinning
ball. Dips in the court.
So balanced. I think his coach wants
him to finish it here, thanks very
much. It will be intriguing to see
Good job from the Austrian.
He seems to deal with disappointment
He has a great attitude
on the court. As enough as Dimitrov
wanted to get the extra break to win
the match, Thiem knew he has to hold
serve to make Dimitrov go through
that trauma of trying to serve out
First qualifier from Bulgaria. Two
groups of four, and this is coming
from the Sampras group, Nadal
playing later on against Goffin of
Belgium. This is a match which could
well decide, with respect to Gough,
who is is a wonderful player, I can
see Nadal going through and one of
these two at the moment. Very early
day, of course.
So in the context of this group and
this tournament, that game coming
up, very important.
Love 30 down on his previous service
Doesn't want to get off to that type
of start when you are trying to
serve out the match.
Might want to
have a look on his states. When you
get your first serve in you do very
Just get on the job here, think as
clearly as possible and goer it. 5-4
and serving for a win.
Not a lot wrong, quality backhand
pass, keep that low. Thiem to set up
Long way to go.
Very smart. Excellent match play,
both players demonstrating their
calibre, 115mph first serve, taking
a bit off it, getting it in heavy.
Two first serves in this game.
Following in the rules.
Oi both players with chance, ball on
the baseline, most of the crowd had
a view on that.
Dimitrov might have challenged.
Did well, Thiem. He is not a player
to go away, when the going gets
That ball was out on the baseline.
Yes, it was.
Oh! Superb backhand as Tim Henman
was saying if Dimitrov had
challenged on his own baseline, he
would have been 40-15 and two match
The game is gone. Thiem has broken
Dimitrov's not going to want to hear
after the match, about that call,
but he will, in the press
conference, his lack of a challenge,
which goes to show whey why I think
the automatic line calling at the
next general finals is something
that should be adopted if at all
-- Next Gem.
We certainly know about Thiem's
resolve. It will be a test of
character for Dimitrov and he will
serve for the match. I'm sure he
would have had his doubts about that
call. He has got to put it behind
He worked so hard to get back in the
match. An unforced error, double
fault and sudden down 0-40.
Ah, two in a round. Dumps his serve
-- row. You wouldn't want to
approach the game any differently if
you were Dimitrov when he served
5-4, he got two first serves in to
begin the game?
The most basic form
of psychology is staying in the
present tense and this is a classic
case where Dimitrov has got to
forget about his last efforts to
serve for the match, put it behind
him and really have a clear plan on
the first couple of points. How he
wants to execute the first points of
the next game.
at 5-4 he approached it by taking a
first bit off the first point.
did things right and you have got
toe give credit to Thiem for
sticking in. There was a huge call
that had a huge unfluns on the game.
Thiem hit the shot that was out at
30-15, if the challenge had been
made, if the call had been made.
40-15, two match points, you felt
that might have been enough, but we
don't do ifs and buts. Now he has
got to stand up to the line and
deliver a strong service game.
lights haven't come up on the court
yet because people who are taking
the fee, the TV fee around the
world, they are taking commercial
breaks. They all come back and the
players are requested to stay in
their seats until the lights on the
court come back up again, but
Dimitrov is sending a clear message
that he is ready to get toe-to-toe
in this game, by coming out before
Let's see whether he
changes that up.
The last time they played earlier on
this year, Dimitrov it five match
points before Thiem won it. I wonder
if we are heading that way.
One out wide at the deuce box would
probably be viewed as a safe serve,
but that one 126mph straight up The
T. Got his reward.
That was a bit tight. His coach is
up on his feet.
He is urging him on.
If that was a
bit tight I would hate to see what
very tight is!
A game of small margins.
Double fault. Missed forehand. Back
Anywhere in the box at this stage.
Oh. Or anywhere over the net.
Everybody gets nervous.
Third match point this game.
He would like to finish it with one
swish of the racket, I think.
And it's away. Grigor Dimitrov opens
his account with a victory over
Dominic Thiem. The second visit to
London for the Austrian, but it is
the Bulgarian on debut who gets the
win. A really good match. Strong
tennis. Nerves. Showing how much it
matters this season ending
championship. Great effort in the
end for Grigor Dimitrov to come
Ten years out on tour and finally
gets to make it to this end of
And wins it the
hard way at the second time of
asking, serving it out. Dominic
Thiem the world number four
outplayed this time, but he still
has to play Rafa Nadal and David
Goffin and he can still make the
semi-finals. He can still win this
event. He has to regroup and he will
get a day off to think about this
and then come back. Dimitrov gains
the victory. The first by a
Bulgarian man at the season ending
championships. So another milestone
for him. Three tournament victories
this year for Grigor Dimitrov as we
see a new-found maturity. There
certainly would have been times in
the past where if he had served for
the match, and lost it, it could
have been a negative reaction, but
not a bit of it this time to his
And Grigor makes his way into the
He will be interviewed after that
So let's hear from Dimitrov who has
given us so much entertainment. He
is talking to Annabel.
It was an incredible contest,
everybody's nerves shredded watching
it, how did you get the win?
I'm not going to lie, I was pretty
nervous, my first match out. It's
not the same when you guys are not
around. We have been practising on
this court and all of a sudden and
you come in and you feel the weight
on your shoulders, in a positive
way. I'm grateful to win that match
and especially in that manner, it is
never easy toll come out here and
play for the first time and yeah,
I'm super excited to be out here,
but entering into this tournament
was a dream of mine, but it wasn't
just to compete, I just wanted to
win. So, every match I want to give
100% for myself and follow what I
have been working on, of course and
things seem to be going the right
way so far.
They certainly did. It
really was a terrific contest. There
was so many twists and turns to the
match. You served 5-4 and then you
got it back again at 5-5 to serve
for it again. How did you get
through the last game?
When I got
broken the first time I was like you
know, let's do it again. You know,
you fail and you get back up again
and that's how it is and I think one
of the toughest things is to manage
to switch it around and as soon as I
broke him back, I thought I'm
picking up the momentum and I had to
use the first serves, but there were
a few close calls here and there.
Yeah, on to the next one though!
Yes, OK, and finally, as you say, it
is your first experience playing
here at The O2, just describe at the
atmosphere and what it feels like to
play on this special arena and this
very special court?
I wish I could
describe, guys, thank you so much.
Yeah, I always like to say without
support, on side, of course the
family, I mean my team and close
friends who are around and I mean,
without that, you just, you know, it
doesn't matter how good you are on
court and all that, you're empty.
For me having all that, it's just
joy and to be able to compete in
front of them and win matches in
front of you guys, I mean it's my
dream. I'm living my dream right now
so I'm going to keep going that way.
Well done, Grigor Dimitrov.
you very much.
It was a glorious match. A great
shot making and well done for Grigor
Dimitrov. I'm not sure how he felt,
I was getting nervous. Tim and Andy
are with me. It was a tense thing.
It is never easy when you lose your
serve and you had your opportunity
and suddenly you are back at 5-5,
but he responded very well. There
are elements that he did
exceptionally well and I don't
necessarily think that he is aware
of them. They played close to 30
games and he came to the net 25
times and he won 20 of them, so he's
winning 80%, but he is coming in
less than one point a game. It's an
area he could do more and it would
give him greater success on first
serve, both were average. Only about
50% first serve. So if he can serve
more consistently then he's going to
play even better.
Andrew, a word.
Great tennis, great advert.
he can win this group. It depends on
Nadal's knee. He will beat Goffin I
would imagine so he has put himself
in a great position and he is a
wonderful and entertaining player to
We will be back tomorrow at
2pm on BBC Two. What a match we had.
What a close, close ending. I hope
you enjoyed it from all of us here.
It's a set to Grigor Dimitrov.
And it's away for Dominic Thiem. He
makes it 1-1.
Grigor Dimitrov opens his account.
Sue Barker presents live coverage of Dominic Thiem v Grigor Dimitrov on the second day of the World Tour Finals from London's O2 Arena.
The eight-day tournament brings the curtain down on the men's tennis season for 2017 and Spain's Rafael Nadal is the favourite to be crowned champion in the capital.
Nadal has won 16 Grand Slam titles during a glittering career but has yet to claim victory in the end-of-season gathering.