Dimitrov passed up his first chance to serve out the match in a tense third set but made no mistake two games later to triumph in the day's opening match in London. I know the periods of time that I need to work. "It's finally starting to kind of, like, come together".
Dimitrov surrendered a one-set lead at London's O2 Arena and then needed two chances to serve for victory in the decider before edging past the talented Thiem 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. "And especially here, of course, a little bit because of all the atmosphere, arena", Thiem said.
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.
Dimitrov broke in the seventh game of the decider to take control once more.
Thiem, ranked fourth in the world, won the Rio Open and was a finalist in Barcelona and Madrid.
Serving for the match at 5-4, however, he wobbled again as a framed backhand beyond the baseline allowed Thiem a reprieve.
"I fought a lot knowing it was my last match of the season".
"It, for me, was just one of those new experiences that I think I'm going to remember for the rest of my life, I think appreciate for the rest of my life", Dimitrov said. "I was like, 'Not again, definitely not again, '" he added with a smile.