Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Dominic Thiem, 6-7(8), 6-2, 7-6(4)
Stefanos Tsitsipas is on top of the tennis world. The 21-year-old Greek topped Dominic Thiem in the final of the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals as he became the youngest player in 18 years to win the year-end tournament.
It was a hard-fought win for Tsitsipas, who had to come back after narrowly losing the first-set tie-break. But he rallied in impressive fashion to claim the biggest title of his career to date.
The Nitto ATP Finals 2019 betting odds prior to the tournament did not have these two among the top favourites. But as both players proved, they are among the best up-and-coming young players on Tour today and figure to be ATP Finals fixtures moving forward.
Highlights of the game
If either Tsitsipas or Thiem had any nerves while playing in the final of the ATP Finals for the first time, they didn’t show it in the first set. Although Tsitsipas started the brighter of the two, Thiem recovered to hold his own. Both players held serve to force a tiebreak, which Thiem eventually won.
However, Tsitsipas hit back immediately in the second set as he produced several Nitto ATP Finals 2019 highlights. He got the first break of the match in the first game, and he went on from there. He broke Thiem once again as he raced off to a commanding 4-0 lead. Such was his dominance that he held Thiem to just two points in the set through four games.
Tsitsipas eventually won the set 6-2 in an impressive display where he had 10 winners and just one unforced error compared to Thiem’s eight miscues.
But Thiem regrouped in the third set and started to show the type of form which saw him defeat both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer during the group stage. With Tsitsipas threatening to take control of the match by breaking Thiem in the first game, the Austrian saved not one but two break points to hold his serve.
Eventually, though, Tsitsipas would get his break of serve a couple of games later with the help of a couple of costly Thiem errors.
However, Thiem just won’t go down without a fight as he broke back to tie it all up at 3-3. Tsitsipas finally made multiple miscues, which Thiem capitalised upon.
Thiem looked re-energised by that break as the momentum seemingly shifted back in his direction. But both players would go on to hold serve in the succeeding matches to force a second tiebreak.
It was going to be a battle of who could hold their nerve in that crucial tiebreak, and it turned out to be Tsitsipas. A few more Thiem errors on the backhand gave the Greek just enough leeway as he clinched the ATP Finals championship in dramatic fashion.
“It’s been a rollercoaster. Holding this trophy is amazing,” Tsitsipas said post-match. “It is a dream come true and the best way to end this match. I did get nervous at some points in the match but I managed to forget about how I felt and I had momentum in the tie-break, which was really tight.
“My fighting spirit and me constantly trying to push myself to do better got me there in the end.”
With his win, Tsitsipas became the youngest winner of the season-ending championships since Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt won at age 20 back in 2001.
The Greek is also just the seventh player to win the season finale on his first appearance and the sixth-youngest winner in tournament history. He also became the fourth consecutive first-time winner of the tournament.
The ATP Finals title is a culmination of a stellar season for Tsitsipas, who became the youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist in 12 years at the Australian Open in January. The Greek won two regular-season ATP titles (Estoril and Marseille) as he climbed into the world’s top 10.
Tsitsipas improved his career head-to-head record against Thiem to 3-4 and avenged his loss to the Austrian in the final of the China Open.
That’s a wrap on the 2019 ATP Tour season. There will be more tennis coming up in the 2019 Davis Cup Finals. But as for ATP events, the next one which will showcase the top players will be the ATP Cup scheduled on January 6.
Then there’s the 2020 Australian Open, which begins on January 20. Tsitsipas will look to build off of his semi-final showing last year, and after his brilliant performance in the ATP Finals, SBOBET odds will likely have him priced among the top Aussie Open favourites.
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