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Tsitsipas on a high after clinching ATP Finals glory

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

By Andy Sims

Stefanos Tsitsipas came of age at London's 02 Arena with a stunning victory over Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals.

The 21-year-old from Athens became 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.

Just a year after winning the NextGen Finals, for players of 21 and under, Tsitsipas mixed it with the very best on the bank of the Thames and came out on top.

Congratulated by his country's prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after his semi-final win over Roger Federer, Tsitsipas went on to write his name in Greek sporting mythology with a 6-7 (6) 6-2 7-6 (4) victory.

It was only the third time in 16 years that the final did not feature at least one of the 'big three', Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Federer, and further evidence surely that the long-awaited power shift in men's tennis is finally on the way.

At 26 Thiem is just about part of that youthful scene as well, and his notable wins over Federer and Djokovic this week helped him climb to fourth in the world rankings.

But the final belonged to Tsitsipas and the legions of Greek fans who made the 02 feel like a home from home for the new champion.

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.

"It's phenomenal, unbelievable to have such an army behind me."

Tsitsipas was the aggressor from the start, dropping just three points in his opening three service games, but lost the first set on a tie-break.

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.

It was a horrible forehand from Thiem which handed Tsitsipas the initiative, and a memorable victory was wrapped up.

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