Dominic Thiem Topples Tsitsipas In ATP Finals Opener - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Dominic Thiem Topples Tsitsipas In ATP Finals Opener

The world No.3 has managed to avenge his loss to the Greek at the same tournament last year.




Dominic Thiem at the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals (image via ATP Twitter)

Dominic Thiem has kicked-off his campaign at the ATP Finals with a roller-coaster 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3, win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.


Thiem, who had lost to his rival in two out of their three previous meetings on the Tour, faced some stern resistance before battling to his 30th win over a top 10 player in his career. In a match of fine margins, the Austrian hit eight aces and 31 winners whilst dropping serve only once.

“It was a very tough match. We both served well and that conditions are fast,” Thiem said afterwards.
“I can’t have any slow starts to any of my matches here (at The O2) against top 10 players.’
“Over the last few years I experienced how important it is to have a good start to this tournament. Ideally win the first match and I am very happy that I have done that.”

The showdown was a case of deja vu for both players who also faced each other in the final of the same tournament 12 months ago. Like their previous encounter, there was little to distinguish between Thiem and Tsitsipas earlier on. The opening set saw neither player drop serve despite Thiem having a trio of opportunities to break in two separate games.

It would be a roller-coaster tiebreak that would separate them with the US Open champion having to bounce back from a mini break early on. Doing so with the help of a forehand cross-court winner to narrow Tsitsipas’ lead to 5-4. Continuing to weather the storm, Thiem battled to his first set point with the help of a serve down the line that was returned out, before clinching the opener with the help of an unforced error from his opponent.

After squandering his lead in the tiebreaker, defending champion Tsitsipas managed to regain momentum in the second set by breaking early on. In the third game a forehand passing shot from the Greek enabled him to grab a critical break for the first time in the match. The breakthrough was enough of a margin to help him level up at one set a piece as Thiem struggled to find a way to break down his serve.

Going the full distance is becoming a regular occurrence in the Thiem-Tsitsipas rivalry. In three out of their seven previous meetings the match has gone to a decider, including their two most recent. With all to play for it was Thiem’s turn to pounce once more. A combination of a forehand passing shot followed by a winning drop shot enabled the Austrian to break en route to a swift 3-0 lead. Much to the bemusement of a frustrated Tsitsipas. Thwarting any threat coming from across the court, Thiem sealed the win after 137 minutes of pulsating tennis.

“I’m feeling physically better than last year’s (tournament), that’s for sure,” said Thiem. “But I think the bubble life is exhausting as well. It is a very new experience for all of us with all the testing and is happening around the world with the tournaments.’
“I’m just grateful that events like this is still happening.”

Due to the format of the round-robin tournament both players are still in contention of reaching the semi-finals next weekend. Tsitsipas is bidding to become the first player outside of the Big Three to defend his title since Lleyton Hewitt. Meanwhile, Thiem is is hoping to become the first player from his country to win the title.


Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.




Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.


Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

Continue Reading


Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.




Novak Djokovic (@atptour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.


The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

Continue Reading


Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome




Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 


Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

Continue Reading