x

SPORTS

Tsitsipas Beats Thiem in 3 Sets to Win ATP Finals Title (Video)

November 18, 2019

LONDON — Three years after coming to the ATP Finals as a hitting partner to the top pros, Stefanos Tsitsipas is leaving the tournament as champion.

Tsitsipas rallied to beat Dominic Thiem 6-7 (6), 6-2, 7-6 (4) on Sunday for the biggest title of his career, becoming the youngest champion at the season-ending event in 18 years.

“I remember myself watching this event on TV and thinking, ‘Oh, these guys have done an insane year to be playing here,’” said the 21-year-old Tsitsipas, who was making his first appearance at the tournament. ”And now I’m in the position to be champion, so it feels awesome.”

It’s been quite a journey for Tsitsipas, who first met Thiem at the O2 Arena in 2016 when he was the world’s top-ranked junior and was invited to be a hitting partner for the ATP Finals participants.

”That is unbelievable,” Tsitsipas said when reminded of that day. “I just remembered (that), first time I met Dominic was I came here as a sparring partner. I think my first hit was with Dominic. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? We are now facing each other in the final.”

It was quite a final, too.

The 21-year-old Greek bounced back from dropping a tight first set by racing out to a 4-0 lead in the second, and then held off the Austrian’s comeback in the third.

Tsitsipas couldn’t capitalize on another early break and a 3-1 lead in the deciding set but won the last three points of the tiebreaker, clinching the win when Thiem sent a return wide.

”I missed some very close balls in the tiebreak,” Thiem said. ”But I cannot do anything now about it. It was a great match from both of us.”

The win caps a breakthrough season for Tsitsipas, who reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, won two ATP titles and became the first Greek man to break into the top 10.

He also leaves London with $2.6 million in prize money for this win and joins a group of young players — including last year’s ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev and U.S. Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev — who are seen as the top up-and-coming talents and challengers to the sport’s Big Three of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

The Greek has already grown quite the fan base, partly because of a Bjorn Borg-style haircut and partly because of an aggressive playing style that is a bit old-school with frequent forays to the net.

”He’s great for tennis, because he has a very attractive game style, one-handed backhand, comes in a lot,” Thiem said. ”It’s great that he’s up on the top. It’s great that he’s going to fight for the big titles in the future. I’m 100% sure of that. I’m also very sure of the fact that I can challenge him in every single match we’re going to play. … I really hope that we’re going to have a lot of big matches coming, the two of us.”

Thiem beat both Federer and five-time winner Djokovic in the group stage but lost another big final after twice finishing runner-up to Nadal at the French Open.

This one was much closer than his losses to Nadal, though, which made it tougher to swallow.

”That’s why it’s probably mentally the most brutal sport existing, because you can play such a great match and end up losing in the championship match,” Thiem said. ”From that point of view, it’s a very disappointing loss, very hard to digest. But on the same hand, I had some amazing wins also.”

It is the fourth year in a row that there is a first-time champion at the ATP Finals, following wins by Andy Murray in 2016, Gregor Dimitrov in 2017 and Alexander Zverev last year.

Earlier, French duo Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert won the doubles title by beating Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand 6-3, 6-4.

RELATED

MELBOURNE, Australia — French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova rallied from a set and a break down against No 26-seeded Jelena Ostapenko to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

1 NYPD Officer Killed, 1 Severely Injured in Harlem Shooting (Vid)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer was killed and another critically wounded Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son, officials said, making four officers shot in the city in as many days.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.