Thiem Holds Off Tsitsipas For Fourth Title Of 2019
Dominic Thiem weathered some of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ best tennis on Sunday to win his fourth title of the season 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 and further pad his hard-court resume at the China Open in Beijing.
Thiem, who qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals by reaching the ATP 500 final, broke in the second game of the deciding set to wrestle momentum away for good against the reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion, who was going for his first ATP 500 crown.
Thiem was too locked in during the deciding set, and the Austrian, who also beat Roger Federer for the BNP Paribas Open title in March, won his second hard-court title in a season for the first time in his career. The win also marks only the second time in Thiem’s career that he has won four championships in a single year (2016).
Tsitsipas and Thiem had endured bruising baseline battles during their three prior clay-court matchups. But Sunday’s final was nearly the opposite as both were keen to attack from the back of the court and charge forward, even serving and volleying on big points.
They combined for 58 net points, (Thiem: 17/25; Tsitsipas: 19/33) and the final featured more than a few cat-and-mouse points at net that had the Beijing crowd roaring.
Tsitsipas broke in the eighth game of the opener before serving it out. The two, after trading breaks early in the second, were on serve until the ninth game as Tsitsipas served to stay in the set.
The Greek, serving at 4-5, 30/40, had saved five of six break points for the set, including two from 0/40 down. But a Thiem backhand pass clipped the net and landed in, evening the final for the Austrian, and Tsitsipas never recovered. Thiem broke twice to start the third and served out the final.
“He doesn’t let people win. He always finds solutions,” Tsitsipas said.
Read More: Thiem Books Fourth Trip To London
The 21-year-old Tsitsipas was looking to add to his ATP Race To London tally with the third title of his season. But the Greek, with 3,370 points, is still currently in sixth place in the Race and next in line to qualify after the fifth-placed Thiem secured his spot on Saturday. The top eight in the Race will compete at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 10-17 November at The O2 in London.
Tsitsipas will receive 300 ATP Rankings points and $364,615 in prize money. Thiem earns 500 ATP Rankings points and $733,790 in prize money.
Did You Know?
Thiem picked up his first such victory since beating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in June during the Roland Garros semi-finals.