LONDON, UK - The second wave of round robin matches continues at the Nitto ATP Finals today as Grigor Dimitrov takes on David Goffin and Dominic Thiem plays Pablo Carreno Busta.
Here are 10 Things To Know at the Nitto ATP Finals on Wednesday:
1. Carreno Busta’s an alternate for Nadal. Rafael Nadal, the World No.1, withdrew from the tournament due to a knee injury after losing his first round robin match against Goffin. At No.10 in the world, Carreno Busta was first out from qualifying for this event - and thus he was the first alternate.
Here are Nadal’s thoughts on having to pull out of one of the biggest tournaments of the season:
2. All four players in this group are at career-high rankings. Thiem (No.4), Dimitrov (No.6), Goffin (No.8) and Carreno Busta (No.10) have never been ranked higher. Nadal too, obviously (No.1).
3. All four are trying to reach the semifinals here for the first time. With Nadal out, we’ll have two first-time semifinalists in this group. Thiem and Goffin fell in the round robin last year (Thiem as a direct entrant and Goffin as an alternate) and Dimitrov and Carreno Busta are here for the first time.
In fact, the only player in the entire field who’s been to the semifinals before is Roger Federer (and with his win over Alexander Zverev on Tuesday he’s already through to the semifinals here again).
4. Dimitrov and Goffin play first - and Dimitrov is looking for revenge. Dimitrov leads the head-to-head, 3-1, but Goffin won their last meeting in the quarterfinals of Rotterdam earlier this year, 6-4 1-6 6-3. Dimitrov had won 16 of 17 matches going into that - here’s a crazy rally from that encounter:
5. They’re both playing a Top 10 player for the 10th time this year. And Goffin has fared slightly better with a 5-4 record against Top 10 players this year - Dimitrov is the reverse of that, going 4-5.
6. Whoever wins this match will lead the group. Dimitrov and Goffin are both 1-0 so far, so the winner will build a commanding 2-0 lead in round robin play - Thiem is 0-1 so far, Carreno Busta 0-0.
7. Thiem and Carreno Busta square off at night. Thiem has dominated this head-to-head - after splitting their two meetings in Challengers and Futures, 1-1, the Austrian is 4-0 against Carreno Busta at the ATP World Tour level, though Carreno Busta did take a set in three of those four meetings.
Here are highlights from their last meeting in the Rio final this year - Thiem’s only straight set win:
8. Carreno Busta’s going for the first Top 5 win of his career. The Spaniard’s best win to date came against a No.6-ranked Milos Raonic in the fourth round of the French Open earlier this year.
9. Carreno Busta’s trying to pull off a rare feat for ATP Finals alternates. Only three alternates in the tournament’s history have ever won matches - Greg Rusedski in 1998 (two wins), Fernando Gonzalez in 2005 (one win) and Janko Tipsarevic in 2011 (one win). Can the Spaniard join them?
10. You can watch Day 4 from the ATP Finals live on Tennis Channel (see the listings here!)