Stefanos Tsitsipas rose above the Austrian resilience of Dominic Thiem and came back from a set behind to emerge victorious (6) 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4) in 2 hours and 35 minutes at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday.
The world No.6 Tsitsipas and world No.5 Thiem saved two and three break points, respectively, in the first and held their serves till 6-6 to force the first set into the tie-breaker.
The Austrian Thiem bagged a mini-break on the first point of the tie-breaker and used the momentum in his favour to great advantage as he bagged the first set 7-6 in 65 minutes.
With so much at stake and the pressure of appearing in the maiden final, Thiem was touted wrap it up in straight sets. But the Greek had other ideas as he began his exceptional comeback under tremendous pressure.
Tsitisipas began the second set in extraordinary fashion by breaking Thiem in game one and three and hold his first two service games to go up a double break at 4-0. The highest-ranked Greek eventually drew curtains on the set 6-2 in just 28 minutes to take the final into the decider.
What everyone witnessed in the third set was simply scintillating. Both the players fought tooth and nail and dug deep into their reserves. While Thiem unleashed one vicious backhand down the line winner after another, Tsitsipas continued to attack the net and stay at par. Tsitsipas broke Thiem in game three but the latter broke the opponent’s serve back in game to six to draw back level to 3-3.
The two first-time finalists eventually played out exciting holds till 6-6. The final set tie-breaker proved to be one way traffic as Tsitsipas fought his way back form 1-4 to win the tie-breaker 6-4 and lift the title.
This is Tsitsipas’ first major career title, third in 2019 and fourth career title. The head-head-count of the two players now read 4-3 in Thiem’s favour.