In the repeat of the last year's ATP Finals title match, world no. 3 Dominic Thiem toppled the defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes. The Austrian didn't play well at the premium ATP event in his first three trips to London, winning only three matches and raising his level a year ago to reach the title, losing to Tsitsipas in the deciding tie break.
It was a great battle in today's encounter, with the Austrian taking five points more than the Greek to kick off the action in a winning way and add 200 points to his tally. It was their eighth clash and the fifth victory for Dominic, who prevailed in a single break in set number two.
Stefanos had momentum after set number two, losing the edge at the beginning of the decider and not finding the way to get back despite taking 11 points on the return in the last part of the match. The Austrian had 37 winners and 30 unforced errors, leaving the Greek on a 30-26 ratio and forging the victory in the shortest rallies up to four strokes where he was 65-55 ahead.
The third game saw three deuces and a break chance for Thiem, who missed a backhand that could have sent him in front. Tsitsipas held with a volley winner to open a 2-1 gap, reaching deuce but not break chances in game four.
Stefanos placed a volley wide in the seventh game to offer two break chances to his opponent, denied by two brave attacks from the Greek, who hit a backhand crosscourt winner to remain ahead. They reached a tie break after five commanding holds on both sides, with the first mini-break for Tsitsipas at 1-1 after Thiem's forehand mistake.
Dominic Thiem defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets in London.
The younger player placed two booming serves to increase the advantage to 4-1, opening a 5-3 gap before Thiem painted a forehand crosscourt winner to reduce the deficit and extend the set.
The Austrian took charge and won the last four points, seizing the set when Tsitsipas' lob landed long in the 12th point. The defending champion had the upper hand in set number two, serving well and waiting for a chance on the return.
In the third game, he fired a forehand down the line winner to secure the first break of the match, holding after deuce to open a 3-1 gap. Serving for the set at 5-4, the Greek hit a service winner to seal the set in style and gain a boost ahead of the decider.
There, Dominic made a better start and opened a 3-0 lead, fending off a break chance in a marathon game five to remain in front. Serving for the victory, Thiem held at 15 in game nine to wrap up the triumph and make the best start in London, seeking the second notable title of the season after the US Open.