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14 November 2017, 11:04 | Charlene Valdez
Dimitrov's solid run of form was halted by John Isner in Bercy
Facing break point at 5-5 in the second, Thiem produced a forehand victor to deny Dimitrov an opportunity to serve for the match, and then broke to love in the following game to level.
Instead of sending the match in the tie break, Dominic played an bad service game to get broken again and fell 6-5 behind, hitting costly double faults to reduce his chances, and Dimitrov sealed the deal with a solid hold in game 12.
The sixth seed got off to the flawless start, winning his opening round-robin match in the Pete Sampras Group as he was able to keep his nerves in check to beat the Austrian 6-3 5-7 7-5.
Nadal pulled out of the Paris Masters at the quarterfinal stage 10 days ago and admitted ahead of the ATP Finals on the indoor hard-court he struggles on, that his knees, which have caused him trouble throughout his career, were still "not ideal".
Andy Murray's hip injury prevented him from making a run to qualify for the ATP Tour Finals. Both players had more unforced errors than winners but overall it was an entertaining duel for 200 points and a winning start before the following matches against Rafael Nadal and David Goffin.
In a topsy-turvy decider, Dimitrov engineered a break and served for the match only for Thiem to hit back, but that only brought a stay of execution for the Austrian, who served two double faults to hand the advantage back to his opponent.
"I'm not going to lie - I was pretty nervous, my first match out here", said Dimitrov.
Dimitrov, who had missed five match points in defeat to Thiem at the Madrid Open earlier in the season, finally managed to stagger across the line but not until he had blown his first two match points. "I was like, 'Not again, definitely not again, '" he added with a smile.
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