Dominic Thiem made a brutal blow to Novak Djokovic’s ATP Finals hopes as he recorded a 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5) victory on Tuesday night.
The Austrian also beat Roger Federer in his opening round-robin match so his place in the semi-finals is secured.
That leaves Federer and Djokovic to battle it out on Thursday with the winner progressing to the next round.
The last time the pair met in London was an epic five-set battle in this summer’s Wimbledon final.
Djokovic came out on top on that occasion after saving two Championship points.
But when the Serbian was asked about that blockbuster showdown he was in no mood to discuss it.
“Doesn’t really matter,” was his brash response.
Djokovic also refused to hype up the showdown which will be the 49th time the pair have face each other.
Novak Djokovic will face Roger Federer in a crunch clash on Thursday (Image: GETTY)
Dominic Thiem beat Novak Djokovic in three fantastic sets (Image: GETTY)
He added: “As you said, it’s a round robin system, so I’m still in the tournament.
“We go head-to-head with Roger. Winner goes to semis. Loser doesn’t qualify. As simple as that.
Meanwhile, Djokovic was humble in his defeat to Thiem and he credited the world No 5’s bravery for executing 50 winners.
“I thought he deserved to win,” Djokovic said of Thiem.
Roger Federer has lost his last four matches against Novak Djokovic (Image: GETTY)
“He just played very courageous tennis and just smacking the ball. He went for broke.
“I mean, the entire match he played same way he played the last point. I mean, I have to put my hat down and congratulate him, because he just played a great match.
“He was unbelievable, and in some stages it was just incredible that he was just literally smacking the ball as hard as he can and he was going in.
“It’s really hard to say – I mean, of course his level was super high. This today was unbelievable.
“But whether he can keep that up, you know, every match, if he does, chapeau, you know. There is not much you can say. For sure, he’s playing great tennis.”