Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Dominic Thiem to win thrilling ATP year-end title in London
Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals at London’s 02.
The 21-year-old from Athens came from a set down to claim a stunning 6-7 (6) 6-2 7-6 (4) victory.
Tsitsipas is the youngest winner of the prestigious season-ending tournament since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001, and the youngest debutant to lift the trophy since John McEnroe back in 1978.
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.
There were further chances to break for both players, Tsitsipas serving and volleying his way out of trouble and Thiem finding his first serve when he needed it.
A tie-break was required to separate them, and when the score reached 7-6 each player had won 44 points. But crucially, Thiem had the ball in his hand and an unreturnable first serve clinched the opening set.
Yet if that was tight, the second was a walkover as Tsitsipas broke twice, raced into a 4-0 lead and confidently served it out.
The first set had taken over an hour, the second lasted 26 minutes in a blur of shaggy hair and flamboyant shot-making, and all Thiem’s good work had unravelled.
When Thiem netted a backhand Tsitsipas had an early break in the decider, but the Greek began bearing gifts and three wayward backhands allowed Thiem to draw level.
The powerful one-handed backhands were out in force from both players in the tie-break, but it was a horrible, wafted forehand from Thiem which handed Tsitsipas the initiative, and a memorable victory was wrapped up in two hours and 34 minutes.
Tsitsipas said: “I was playing with nerves, it’s such a big event.
“I was a break up in the third set, but couldn’t hold it, but I’m so relieved with this outstanding performance I gave on the court.
“It’s phenomenal, unbelievable to have such an army behind me, they give me energy, and belief, and I just love that.
“I would like to thank everyone who supported me with a Greek flags and made me feel at home.”
Australian Open preparations rocked by fourth positive Covid case
A positive test was returned by a broadcast team member on a charter flight from Los Angeles.
Players were made aware of isolation risks on arrival to Australia – Craig Tiley
Forty seven players will have to remain in their hotel rooms for 14 days.
Andy Murray’s waiting game as anger mounts after tennis players fly in for Australian Open
Andy Murray is waiting to see if there is any way he compete in the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19.
Positive Covid cases on flights to Australia put 47 players in 14-day quarantine
Three people across two chartered flights carrying the Open hopefuls tested positive for coronavirus upon their arrival in Melbourne.
Bernard Tomic still has drive to compete, saying ‘I don’t need to play tennis again, I’ve got enough money’
“I’m risking my life, and I’m playing and competing.”
Dominic Thiem: ‘My wish for 2021 is to win a second Grand Slam title’
Dominic Thiem eyes a second Grand Slam trophy.
VIDEO and PICS: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams among tennis stars to arrive in Australia
This way for a video and pics of arrivals in Australia.
Official insists no special Australian Open treatment for Andy Murray after positive COVID-19 result
Andy Murray warned he won’t get preferential treatment.
Madison Keys latest player to miss Australian Open charter flight after testing positive for coronavirus
Madison Keys unlikely to play at Australian Open.
Andy Murray in race against time to play at Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19
Andy Murray tests positive for coronavirus – report.