Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Dominic Thiem to win ATP Finals title

Grant Boone
November 18, 2019

Germany's Alexander Zverev, like Greek Tsitsipas, was also 21 previous year when he beat Novak Djokovic to win the season-ender in London.

Stefanos Tsitsipas battled back from a set down against Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals title on Sunday, emphatically staking his claim as the leader of the next generation of aspiring global superstars.

The Greek 21-year-old, who received, 6-7 (6/eight), 6-2, 7-6 (7/Four) is the youngest champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001 and the fourth first-time champion on the season-ending occasion in as a few years.

Rafael Nadal will end the year as the world's top-ranked player and the "big three" retained their stranglehold on the Grand Slam titles, but when Stefanos Tsitsipas was crowned ATP Finals champion on Sunday it felt like a watershed moment.

"I have no clue how I performed so well in the next established", said Tsitsipas, the youngest victor of the tournament because Lleyton Hewitt in 2001. "It's wonderful to be remembered as the 2019 champion".

"Then when the matches come, you know, it's not maybe as easy as it was maybe 10, 15 years ago where you're just going to play very good day in, day out, maybe you need to do extra effort sometimes for that to happen".

It is the fourth successive year the tournament has had a first-time victor and incredibly it is just one year since Tsitsipas won the NextGen Finals title for the best up-and-coming players on the men's Tour.

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Defeat is a bitter disappointment for Thiem, who won five titles this year, including the Indian Wells Masters, and reached a second successive French Open final.

"I have no clue how I played so well in the second set", Tsitsipas said on court.

In an inevitable tie-break Tsitsipas saved a set point at 5/6 but Thiem clinched his second set point with a powerful serve that the Greek returned into the net. Tsitsipas held easily after which produced a forehand down the road to interrupt once more, with Thiem threatening to unravel. Tsitsipas had received 12 out of 14 factors within the set.

Tsisipas was the aggressor from the start, dropping just three points in his opening three service games while forcing the first break point, from which Thiem escaped with a swish of his forehand. The 20-time major victor Federer, who was aiming for a record-extending 11th season-ending final, was broken again in the second set to trail 2-1.

The Greek was now well on top but out of nowhere Thiem was level at 3-3 after Tsitsipas put a backhand wide.

Both players delivered entertaining, aggressive tennis through the first set as the action went all the way to a first-set tiebreak. Then he doubled up to put himself in a strong position to close out the set which he duly did, as he ran out the second set victor, 6-2. Tsitsipas forged ahead but Thiem pegged him back until the Greek was gifted another mini-break when the Austrian went long.

But Tsitsipas, who has beaten every member of the "Big Three" in 2019, will go into the new season with the belief he can take the next step towards the apex of the men´s game.

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