Dominic Thiem Reaches First Semi-Final For 14 Months

US player Taylor Fritz celebrates after winning against US player Maxime Cressy at the end of their men’s singles final tennis match at the Eastbourne International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, southern England, on June 25, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Dominic Thiem on Friday reached his first ATP Tour semi-final since May 2021 with a straight-sets victory over Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas in Gstaad.

The former US Open champion won 6-4, 6-3 and will next face second seed Matteo Berrettini as he looks to make a first final since the 2020 ATP Finals.

Thiem missed the second half of last year due to a wrist injury and lost his first six Tour matches this season.

“I failed to serve out at (5-2 in the first set), but it was also the nerves a little bit because it is my first semi-final in one and a half years,” said Thiem, who also reached the quarter-finals in Bastad last week.

“I need the points to go back up the rankings. I was happy I was able to break the nerves.”

Thiem, currently ranked 274th but now set to return to the top 200, will be hoping to win an 18th ATP title this weekend in the clay-court event.

“Tomorrow I can go into the match free, trying to do my best,” the 28-year-old added. “When I travelled to Bastad last week I didn’t expect to reach the quarter-finals there and then the semi-finals here.

“It is really, really good and I am happy with the progress.”

Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Berrettini fought back from a set down to beat Spain’s Pedro Martinez 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.

The Italian missed Wimbledon following a positive Covid test last month but is bidding for a third straight title after wins on  grass at Queen’s and in Stuttgart.

Berrettini was staring defeat in the face when trailing 5/1 in the second-set tie-break before reeling off six successive points and then easing through the decider.

“It is a crazy sport. At 1/5 I thought I was done. Then I played two good points and it was 3/5 and I thought ‘Let’s try,” he said.

French Open losing finalist Casper Ruud plays Jaume Munar and Albert Ramos-Vinolas takes on Chile’s Nicolas Jarry in Friday’s other quarter-finals.

Thiem Suffers Loss To Millman In Serbia Open

Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts during his tennis single’s match against Australia’s John Millman at the Serbia Tennis Open ATP 250 series tournament in Belgrade on April 19, 2022. Pedja MILOSAVLJEVIC / AFP

 

Dominic Thiem suffered a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 loss to John Millman in the opening round of the Serbia Open on Tuesday in his first tour-level match in 10 months. 

The 2020 US Open champion and former world number three had been sidelined with a wrist injury suffered in a grass-court tournament in Marbella in June last year.

READ ALSO: Guardiola Keeps Mum On Haaland To Man City Talks

The 28-year-old Austrian returned to action in the same Spanish city last month in a second-tier Challenger clay-court event where he lost in the first round. He tested positive for Covid-19 the day after that defeat.

Thiem, a two-time French Open runner-up and 2020 Australian Open finalist, has slumped to 54 in the world during his prolonged absence.

AFP

French Open: Schwartzman Shocks Thiem In Five-Hour Thriller

Argentina's Diego Schwartzman celebrates after winning against Austria's Dominic Thiem at the end of their men's singles quarter-final tennis match on Day 10 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 6, 2020. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman celebrates after winning against Austria’s Dominic Thiem at the end of their men’s singles quarter-final tennis match on Day 10 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 6, 2020. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Argentine 12th seed Diego Schwartzman defeated US Open champion and third seed Dominic Thiem in a five-hour epic on Tuesday to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals, his first-ever Grand Slam last-four appearance.

The 28-year-old Schwartzman triumphed 7-6 (7/1), 5-7, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 and will face either 12-time champion Rafael Nadal or Italian teenager Jannik Sinner for a place in the final.

It was one marathon too many for Thiem, the runner-up in Paris for the last two years, who had needed five sets and three and a half hours to down world number 239 Hugo Gaston in the fourth round.

The 5ft 7in (1.70m) Schwartzman’s success came on the same day that compatriot Nadia Podoroska, the world 131, reached the last-four of the women’s singles.

“Dominic is one of the great players. He is my best friend and I have a lot of respect for him,” said Schwartzman.

“So this win is very important for me. In the second and third sets, I was going a little crazy and I was screaming at myself because I had so many chances.

“But, come on, I deserved to win tonight,” added Schwartzman who defeated Nadal in the Rome quarter-finals on the eve of the French Open.

Thiem had been attempting to reach a fifth successive semi-final in Paris.

However, despite crunching 65 winners to his opponent’s 47, he committed 81 unforced errors in a match which featured 19 breaks of serve and at five hours and eight minutes was the second longest of the tournament.

“I was over the limit today,” said Thiem.

“At the net I just told him that he deserves it. I think he’s for the first time top 10 with that win.

“That’s also great achievement.”

Schwartzman recovered from a break down in the 65-minute first set to sweep through the tiebreaker.

But Thiem kept hammering away forcing the Argentine to save seven break points in the ninth game of the second.

The Austrian broke through for a 6-5 edge before wrapping up a 71-minute set.

Austria's Dominic Thiem returns the ball to Argentina's Diego Schwartzman during their men's singles quarter-final tennis match on Day 10 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 6, 2020. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP
Austria’s Dominic Thiem returns the ball to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman during their men’s singles quarter-final tennis match on Day 10 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 6, 2020. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP

 

In a tie of dramatically fluctuating rallies, eight breaks of serve punctuated the third set.

Schwartzman even had a set point but couldn’t convert and Thiem pounced in the breaker to sneak ahead.

The Argentine blinked again in the 10th game of the fourth as three more set points went begging, but he clung on, snatching the breaker after a 73-minute set.

By this stage, they had been on court for over four and a half hours.

However, a weary Thiem was broken in the sixth and final game of the decider as Schwartzman celebrated becoming the 10th Argentinian man to make the semi-finals of a major.

Late night for Nadal

The epic match meant that Nadal and Sinner were facing a late night as they had to wait for the day’s second women’s quarter-final between Iga Swiatek and Martina Trevisan to finish.

It was 9pm when they got underway.

Nadal is in the quarter-finals for the 14th time, dropping just 23 games in four rounds despite his pre-tournament prediction that he was facing his toughest ever Roland Garros due to the slow autumn conditions and the new, heavier balls.

His form is hard to gauge as his opponents have been ranked 83, 236, 74 and 213.

The 34-year-old Spaniard, playing his 100th match in Paris where he has lost just twice, can equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles with victory in the final.

However, standing in his way of a 13th semi-final in Paris is Sinner, the Italian 19-year-old who has made a mockery of his world ranking of 75 to become the youngest men’s Grand Slam quarter-finalist since Novak Djokovic in Paris in 2006.

On his way, he has knocked out Belgian 11th seed David Goffin in the first round followed by a last-16 defeat of German sixth seed and US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev on the back of 39 winners.

Sinner, a champion skier in his youth before opting for tennis, is also the first player to reach the last eight on his Roland Garros debut since Nadal lifted the trophy in 2005.

“It’s not the easiest thing to play Nadal at  Roland Garros. The record he has here, I think nobody can beat that. He is super confident,” said Sinner who now has two top 10 wins after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome.

 

AFP

US Open Champion Thiem Cruises Into Roland Garros Second Round

Dominc thiem
Austria’s Dominic Thiem eyes the ball as he returns it to Croatia’s Marin Cilic during their men’s singles first round tennis match at the Philippe Chatrier court on Day 2 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on September 28, 2020. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

 

US Open champion and third seed Dominic Thiem eased into the Roland Garros second round on Tuesday with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Thiem, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Paris in the last two years, will face American qualifier Jack Sock for a place in the last 32.

Dominic Thiem Beats Zverev To Win US Open For First Grand Slam Title

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 13: Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates with championship trophy after winning in a tie-breaker during his Men’s Singles final match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on Day Fourteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 13, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP.

 

Dominic Thiem produced a historic comeback to beat Alexander Zverev in a nervy five-setter and win the US Open on Sunday for his first Grand Slam title.

The second seeded Austrian beat the fifth seed 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in 4hr 2min inside a near-empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.

It marked the first time in the US Open’s Open era history that a player had recovered from losing the opening two sets to win the title.

It was also the first time the final had been settled by a tie-break.

“I wish we could have two winners today. I think we both deserved it,” said Thiem.

The title is the 27-year-old Thiem’s maiden Grand Slam trophy after three previous defeats in finals of tennis majors.

Thiem was runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year and also lost in the last-two showdowns at the French Open in 2018 and 2019.

He also becomes the first new Grand Slam champion since Croatian Marin Cilic won at Flushing Meadows in 2014.

Thiem is also the first Grand Slam champion other than Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer since Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka won the third of his majors at the 2016 US Open.

“I achieved a life goal, a dream of myself, which I had for many, many years,” said Thiem.

Zverev, 23, smashed four aces and 16 winners in the first set as he displayed an impressive serve and volley game to take a 1-0 lead in just 30 minutes.

The German was helped by some sloppy serving from Thiem, who hit three double faults as he was broken twice, in games three and seven.

In set two, Zverev wasted three set points while 5-1 up but held on to take a 2-0 lead on his fifth set point.

The tide was beginning to turn though as Zverev’s play became increasingly cagey as his suspect second serve got slower and his forehand, another weakness, became more defensive.

– ‘Tough battle’ –

After Thiem took set four, Zverev found himself serving for the championship at 5-3 in the fifth set.

But he could not hold and soon Thiem found himself 6-5 ahead. He took a medical timeout before it was his turn to serve for the championship.

However, like Zverev moments earlier, Thiem failed to clinch the match and it went to a tie-break.

He found himself 5-3 up after two double faults by Zverev but Thiem, by now exhausted and limping, blew two championship points.

He won the title and the winner’s cheque of $3 million on his third after Zverev hit a backhand wide.

Thiem collapsed to the ground with his head in his hands before the pair, who are close friends, embraced on the court.

“It was a tough battle,” said Zverev, who burst into tears during his runner-up speech.

“I wish you would have missed a little bit more so I could have hold that trophy up,” he added.

Zverev said losing in a tie-break after being two sets and a break up “is not easy,” but said his time would come.

“I don’t think it’s my last chance. I do believe that I will be a Grand Slam champion at some point,” he told reporters.

The match was watched by just a few dozen people, mostly officials, journalists and event staff after the coronavirus pandemic forced the tournament to be held behind closed doors.

It was a scrappy, timid affair, with both players desperate to win their first Slams.

Zverev smashed 15 aces compared to Thiem’s two. But the German also hit 15 double faults, with Thiem hitting eight.

Zverev hit more winners 52 to 43, but also more unforced errors, with 65 to 55.

This year’s field at the Billie Jean King US National Tennis Center in New York was depleted by the absence of Swiss legend Federer and defending champion Nadal.

The tournament was also blown wide open by the disqualification of world number one and heavy favourite Djokovic in the last 16 for hitting a line judge with the ball.

AFP

World Number Three, Thiem, Waits On US Open Decision

Dominic Thiem of Austria reacts after winning the ATP Tour Tennis Open semi-final match against Matteo Berrettini of Italy in Vienna, Austria on October 26, 2019.
Michael GRUBER / EXPA / APA / AFP

 

World number three Dominic Thiem said in an Austrian media interview published Saturday that he was keen to play the US Open if it can go ahead.

The United States has seen an alarming resurgence of new coronavirus cases. On Friday a record 57,000 new infections were confirmed.

The ATP and WTA tours are due to return next month, with the US Open starting on August 31 and the French Open beginning a month later.

Thiem said he trusted the US authorities to make the right decision.

“I think in the next five to seven days there will be a decision,” Thiem said.

“Of course I hope it (the US Open) will go ahead, but safety comes first of course. We have to follow countries’ governments — if they see any danger, they won’t allow a tournament, especially such a big one as the US Open,” the Austrian told public broadcaster ORF.

The 26-year-old plans to play in Kitzbuehel in western Austria in an exhibition event he is co-organising next and then in Berlin, after which he said he would do “intensive training” to prepare for Cincinnati and the US Open if those go ahead.

He played in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament organised by Novak Djokovic last month after which the world number one and three other participants all tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The matches, where social distancing was minimal, were played in front of thousands of fans, while the players were seen partying at a packed Belgrade night spot, earning a storm of criticism.

Thiem, who has tested negative for the new coronavirus since Belgrade, reiterated in the ORF interview the “huge mistake by us all”.

“We all acted much too euphoric. The most important is that we learn from our mistakes,” he said.

 

AFP

Djokovic Beats Thiem In Five Sets To Win Eighth Australian Open

 

Novak Djokovic battled through intense pressure from Dominic Thiem to reassert his dominance at the Australian Open Sunday, claiming a record eighth title and returning to world number one in the process.

The indomitable Serb stretched his unbeaten streak this season to 13 by rallying from two sets to one down and beating the courageous fifth-seeded Austrian 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a near four-hour ordeal.

It was his 17th Grand Slam title, moving him within two of Rafael Nadal and three of Roger Federer on the all-time list.

The victory put him alongside his fellow legends as only the third man in history to win eight or more titles at the same Slam after Nadal (12 at the French Open) and Federer (eight at Wimbledon).

READ ALSO: ‘Ighalo Has Nothing To Lose’

It also ensured he will once again be world number one when the new rankings are released on Monday, usurping Nadal. Federer remains third with Thiem moving up a place to a career-high fourth.

But it wasn’t easy with the Serb looking lethargic and out for the count in sets two and three before regaining his mojo after a medical timeout to grind down the talented Thiem.

Djokovic had never before won a Slam final in seven previous attempts when finding himself two sets to one down.

The Serb, 32, was the overwhelming favourite, but the supremely fit and fast Thiem, 26, always had the weapons to trouble him, which he deployed successfully for much of the match, taming his serve and unleashing some explosive groundstrokes.

It was a nerveless start from Djokovic, who comfortably held then put big pressure on the Thiem serve, with a forehand into the net giving him an immediate break and a psychological edge after some monster rallies.

Thiem, though, is as strong mentally as he is physically and he finally got on the scoreboard after another tough service game.

And against the run of play, with Djokovic seemingly in control, he broke back, unleashing pinpoint groundstrokes to make the most of some loose Djokovic shots.

But the world number two was unrelenting, breaking again as Thiem served to stay in the set, with the Austrian sending down his first double fault of the match at the crucial moment.

Remarkably, a rare Djokovic double fault handed Thiem a break to go 2-1 up in set two with the courageous Austrian refusing to go away.

The Serb was getting frustrated, looking at his coaching box and pointing at his head.

He refocused and once again began attacking the Thiem serve, breaking back for 4-4, pumping his fists when the fifth seed sent a backhand wide.

But two-time warnings on his serve in the next game rattled Djokovic and he was broken again, with the Serb losing his cool by patting the umpire’s foot at the changeover.

He had words with the official before Thiem served out the set — the first the Serb had dropped in an Australian Open final since 2015.

Djokovic looked dejected and was immediately broken twice in set three as Thiem raced to a 4-0 lead, having won six games in a row with Djokovic imploding.

The Serb was heard telling a trainer he was tired and after losing the set, he went for a medical timeout.

He came back and the fourth set went with serve until a Thiem double fault handed the Serb two break points and he converted to regain control, serving out the set with an ace.

Djokovic drew on all his experience to force another break in the deciding fifth set to take a 2-1 lead and kept his foot on the gas to claim an eighth crown from the last 13 Australian Opens.

AFP

Thiem Outclasses Zverev For Final Showdown Against Djokovic

Germany’s Alexander Zverev reacts after a point against Austria’s Dominic Thiem during their men’s singles semi-final match on day twelve of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 31, 2020.
William WEST / AFP

 

Tireless Dominic Thiem came from a set down to outlast German Alexander Zverev and make his first Australian Open final Friday, booking a showdown with seven-time champion Novak Djokovic.

The 26-year-old fifth seed, the first player from Austria ever to reach the Melbourne decider, battled past seventh-ranked Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) on a sweltering evening.

Defending champion Djokovic awaits him after the second seed ended Roger Federer’s dreams in straight sets Thursday to make his eighth Melbourne Park final.

Thiem has his work cut out against the Serb who is on a 12-match unbeaten streak this season and has won all seven of the Australian Open deciders he has contested.

And if Djokovic needs extra motivation, winning on Sunday will see him reclaim the world number one ranking after Rafael Nadal crashed to Thiem in the last eight.

“It was an unreal match, two tie-breakers, so tough and so close. It was almost impossible to break him,” said Thiem.

“Being in the Australian Open final is unreal. What a start to the season for me.”

Thiem had dealt with semi-final pressure before, although always on the slower red clay at Roland Garros, where he reached the past two finals only to be beaten by Nadal.

That experience paid dividends as he coolly closed out the match after 3hrs 42 mins to give himself another chance to break the stranglehold of the Big Three and win his first Grand Slam.

“I was playing four hours 10 against Rafa (in the quarter-finals), who is the most intense guy on tour, almost always so intense and long,” Thiem said.

“So it was not easy to recover. But once all the adrenalin came, already when I walked into the full stadium was fine, actually, but still I had some troubles in the first set.”

 

– Light failure –

A jittery Thiem was broken in the opening game, saving two break points before sending a backhand wide to immediately be on the back foot.

Both players were nervous and the German failed to consolidate, broken straight back.

Their momentum was interrupted when the rain began falling and the roof needed closing, but it was only a brief intermission and Zverev resumed to hold for 2-2.

Thiem was still struggling with his first serve and a double fault handed the German a chance to go 4-3 in front and he grabbed it.

Zverev took command, putting 90 percent of his booming first serves in, and broke again to seal the set as the Austrian error-count mounted.

But the 22-year-old lost focus and two double faults in game three of the second set handed Thiem a 2-1 lead.

Zverev managed to break back but he was too erratic as Thiem broke again and clung on, firing an ace to take set two.

Bizarrely, play was halted for nine minutes one game into the third set when a light went out above the baseline and it bothered Zverev.

When they resumed, Thiem held serve and then broke with an epic backhand winner as Zverev again lost concentration and the momentum appeared to shift.

Thiem is one of the best returners in the game and was getting almost every ball back. He looked to be on his way, but Zverev refused to surrender and broke again to even it up.

It went to a tiebreak where Thiem turned on the style to take a stranglehold on the match.

There was little between them in the crucial fourth set as they traded blows. It went to serve and another tie-breaker when Thiem’s experience helped him over the line.

AFP

Australian Open: Nadal Stunned By Thiem In Epic Quarter Final Clash

Spain’s Rafael Nadal walks off the court after losing against Austria’s Dominic Thiem during their men’s singles quarter-final match on day ten of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 29, 2020.
William WEST / AF

 

Austria’s Dominic Thiem stunned Rafael Nadal in an “epic” four-setter Wednesday to send the world number one tumbling out of the Australian Open and set up a semi-final against Alexander Zverev.

The fifth seed, beaten by Nadal in the last two French Open finals, battled past the Spaniard 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6) to deny him a crack at a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title.

He will now meet German seventh seed Zverev, who shattered the dreams of veteran Stan Wawrinka 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to book his maiden place in a Grand Slam last four.

Awaiting the winner of that clash will be either seven-time champion Novak Djokovic or six-time winner Roger Federer, who meet in the other semi-final.

 

Spain’s Rafael Nadal (L) congratulates Austria’s Dominic Thiem on his victory in their men’s singles quarter-final match on day ten of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 30, 2020. DAVID GRAY / AFP

 

“All the match was on a very good level, I think we are both in great form,” said Thiem, only the second Austrian to make the Melbourne semis after Thomas Muster — the man he sacked this week as an advisor.

“Today I had the feeling I was lucky in the right situation… it is necessary because he is one of the greatest of all time. You need some luck to beat him.”

Thiem added that he was ecstatic at beating “a great champion” and “really proud how I stayed in the match”, which he called “an epic”.

Top seed Nadal had a 9-4 record over Thiem and had beaten him in all their five previous Slam meetings.

But the last time they played on hardcourts — at the 2018 US Open quarter-finals — it was a five-set marathon.

And the signs pointed that way again, with the opening set on serve to 2-2 before Thiem, gunning for a first Grand Slam title, worked a breakpoint but couldn’t convert.

Both baseline-huggers, it became a slugfest before Nadal managed to open some doors on the Thiem serve in game eight and he broke with a perfect lob from the back of the court.

But Thiem came roaring back, breaking back with a ripping crosscourt return. He saved a set point to take it to a tie-breaker where he rocked Nadal to seal a one-set lead.

– Famous victory –

Nadal, dripping in sweat on a steamy Melbourne night, attacked in the second set and Thiem lost his serve to love to go 3-2 behind.

But the Spaniard, the 2009 champion, became riled when issued with a warning for taking too long to serve and it rattled him, sending down a double fault as Thiem squared the set at 4-4.

Nadal saved a set point and it went to another tie-break where Thiem prevailed at the crunch thanks to a lucky net cord.

The third set was similarly tight, with no breaks until Nadal teased some errors from Thiem as he served to stay in the set, pumping his fists in celebration.

But when Nadal shanked a forehand to be broken in the third game of set four, the momentum swung back to the Austrian. He lost his nerve serving for the match at 5-4 before finally getting over the line in a tie-break for a famous victory.

“Of course, I am sad. I lost an opportunity to be in the semi-finals of another Grand Slam. But I lost against a great opponent. And he deserved it, too,” said Nadal.

Thiem now faces Zverev, who bounced back after being demolished in the first set by 2014 champion Wawrinka to take control and run out a comfortable winner.

Long touted as one of the next generation capable of breaking through to end the Grand Slam dominance of Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic, Zverev credited a more relaxed approach for his success in Melbourne.

“I’m doing many more things outside the court,” he said, adding that after a poor performance at the recent ATP Cup he did not have high expectations.

“Maybe this is a stepping stone. Maybe this is how it should happen.”

AFP

Tsitsipas Beats Thiem To Claim ATP Finals Title

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas poses with the winner's trophy after winning the men's singles final match on day eight of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 17, 2019.
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas poses with the winner’s trophy after winning the men’s singles final match on day eight of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 17, 2019.

 

 

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 won, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)  is the youngest champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001 and the fourth first-time champion at the season-ending event in as many years.

It is Tsitsipas’s third title of the season and comes a year after he was crowned champion at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

He has charmed the crowd at London’s O2 Arena all week and earned his place in the final with an impressive straight-sets win against six-time champion Roger Federer.

“I can’t sum up my emotions right now,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s amazing to be remembered as the 2019 champion. 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.”

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.

There was little to choose between sixth-seed Tsitsipas and Austria’s world number five Thiem in the first set as a total of five break points went begging.

Both players had impressed on serve during the tournament, with Tsitsipas’s figures especially striking — 44 service games won out of 47 leading into the final.

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 breaks

But Tsitsipas regrouped and within minutes Thiem, who beat his opponent in three sets in the Beijing final last month, was under pressure, spraying a forehand wide to concede first break of the match.

Tsitsipas held with ease and then produced a forehand down the line to break again, with Thiem threatening to unravel. Tsitsipas had won 12 out of 14 points in the set.

Thiem, who like Tsitsipas plays with a single-handed backhand, stemmed the tide but could make little impression on his opponent’s serve and lost the set 6-2.

Thiem was rocking again at the start of the deciding set. He saved two break points in the first game but looked increasingly shaky and was broken to trail 1-2.

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

The Austrian was now playing with much more confidence, unleashing a series of blistering winners and edged ahead 5-4 after another service hold but the rest of the set went with serve.

In the deciding set tie-break Tsitsipas took a 4-2 lead but was pegged back to 4/4.

But on the next point Tsitsipas earned a mini-break, giving him the chance to serve out for the match and he made no mistake, closing out the biggest victory of his career.

Tsitsipas has competition among his peers as the new generation attempt to dislodge Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who have dominated the men’s game for the past 15 years.

World number four Daniil Medvedev won two Masters titles this year and reached the US Open final while Alexander Zverev was in London defending the title he won last year.

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.

 

AFP

Thiem Sees Off Berrettini To Reach Vienna Final

Dominic Thiem of Austria reacts after winning the ATP Tour Tennis Open semi-final match against Matteo Berrettini of Italy in Vienna, Austria on October 26, 2019. Michael GRUBER / EXPA / APA / AFP

 

Dominic Thiem closed in on his 16th career title on Saturday after reaching the final in Vienna by beating Matteo Berrettini in an enthralling semi-final 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Top seed Thiem will face either Gael Monfils or Diego Schwartzman in Sunday’s final after coming through a tough match with his Italian opponent in front of an overjoyed home crowd.

The world number five, who won the China Open earlier this month, also gained revenge on Berrettini for beating him in the quarter-finals in Shanghai two weeks ago.

However 23-year-old Berrettini will still be satisfied with his tournament, as his last four finish ensures that he will become only the fourth Italian man to break into the world top 10 and boosts his hopes of making the season-ending ATP finals.

Berrettini came out on top of an entertaining first set which saw both players share breaks of serve before the Italian held his in game eight to make it 5-3, then breaking Thiem again to seal the set.

The pair opened the second set by exchanging service games until Thiem snatched game five, when after fighting back from break point to deuce Berrettini hit two weak shots into the net to fall a break back.

Berrettini broke back in a tight game eight and comfortably took the lead on his serve in the next before Thiem levelled at 5-5 on his serve.

Backed by a roaring home crowd, Thiem then got the arena on its feet when he broke again after another game taken to deuce before serving out the set to level the match.

He took control of the third set in game seven when he broke to make it 4-3 after the pair slugged out six service games.

He then held his serve and made sure of the win on Berrettini’s next service game to give himself a chance to win his fifth tournament of the season.

AFP

Thiem Wins Home Ground Title In Kitzbuhel

Dominic Thiem of Austria (L) and Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain celebrate with Champagne after the singles final match of the Generali Open Tennis Tournament of the ATP Tour in Kitzbuehel, Austria on August 3, 2019. Stefan ADELDBERGER / EXPA / APA / AFP

 

 

Top seed and world number four Dominic Thiem captured his 14th career title and first on home ground on Saturday with a 7-6 (7/0), 6-1 win over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final of the Kitzbuhel clay-court tournament.

It was Thiem’s third title of 2019 after a maiden Masters win at Indian Wells and in Barcelona on the eve of Roland Garros where he eventually went on to finish runner-up to Rafael Nadal for a second successive year.

Thiem, who lost the 2014 Kitzbuhel final to David Goffin, becomes only the second Austrian player to lift his home title following former world number one Thomas Muster in 1993.

“It’s already one of my most beautiful moments ever in my tennis career,” said Thiem.

“It was one of the most emotional moments because I have a special connection with Kitzbuhel. I was here for the first time when I was six on this huge centre court. I was watching the tournament many times.

“I got my first wild card here and now to finish the tournament as the champion is incredible. I reached one big childhood goal today.”

READ ALSO: Texas Store Shooting Leaves Multiple Dead

Next up for Thiem is a return to hard courts and the Montreal Masters from next week where he starts as second seed to Nadal after the withdrawals of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

The 25-year-old will face either 2017 Montreal semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov or Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in his Canadian opener.