Feature Photo: ATP
It may not have been the final most people were expecting as Dominic Thiem of Austria and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece took to the court on Sunday at the O2 Arena in London – but the duo certainly served up a match to remember as a new ATP Finals champion was crowned.
Both players’ route to the final included impressive victories. The likes of the in-form Daniil Medvedev (No. 4) and Roger Federer (No. 3) were swept aside by Tsitsipas while Thiem saw off Novak Djokovic (No. 2) in the group stage before overcoming last year’s champion Alexander Zverev (No. 7) in the semi-finals.
There was little between Tsitsipas and Thiem in the first set. There were five break point opportunities in total, but none of them were converted and it would take a tiebreak to separate them. It was the Austrian who managed to squeak out a victory, claiming it 8-6.
Tsitsipas, though, stormed back in the second set, breaking on Thiem’s first two service games to take a commanding 4-0 lead. From there on in, the 21-year-old Greek didn’t look back as he waltzed to a 6-2 win to level proceedings.
The deciding set took a similar path to the first – although, this time each player managed to manufacture a break. However, again, it would take a tiebreak to decide the winner of the set, and the tournament champion.
Ultimately, it was Tsitsipas who emerged as the winner. The 21-year-old won three breaks of Thiem’s serve to his opponent’s two and was crowned the youngest winner of the ATP Finals in 18 years.
In doubles, last year’s runners up Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut went one better as they claimed a first ATP Finals doubles title following their 6-3, 6-4 victory over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus.